Temperature-dependent global gene expression in the Antarctic archaeon Methanococcoides burtonii.
ABSTRACT Methanococcoides burtonii is a member of the Archaea that was isolated from Ace Lake in Antarctica and is a valuable model for studying cold adaptation. Low temperature transcriptional regulation of global gene expression, and the arrangement of transcriptional units in cold-adapted archaea has not been studied. We developed a microarray for determining which genes are expressed in operons, and which are differentially expressed at low (4°C) or high (23°C) temperature. Approximately 55% of genes were found to be arranged in operons that range in length from 2 to 23 genes, and mRNA abundance tended to increase with operon length. Analysing microarray data previously obtained by others for Halobacterium salinarum revealed a similar correlation between operon length and mRNA abundance, suggesting that operons may play a similar role more broadly in the Archaea. More than 500 genes were differentially expressed at levels up to ≈ 24-fold. A notable feature was the upregulation of genes involved in maintaining RNA in a state suitable for translation in the cold. Comparison between microarray experiments and results previously obtained using proteomics indicates that transcriptional regulation (rather than translation) is primarily responsible for controlling gene expression in M. burtonii. In addition, certain genes (e.g. involved in ribosome structure and methanogenesis) appear to be regulated post-transcriptionally. This is one of few experimental studies describing the genome-wide distribution and regulation of operons in archaea.
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ABSTRACT: Arctic Mesorhizobium sp. N33 isolated from nodules of Oxytropis arctobia in Canada's eastern Arctic has a growth temperature range from 0°C to 30°C and is a well-known cold-adapted rhizobia. The key molecular mechanisms underlying cold adaptation in Arctic rhizobia remains totally unknown. Since the concentration and contents of metabolites are closely related to stress adaptation, we applied GC-MS and NMR to identify and quantify fatty acids and water soluble compounds possibly related to low temperature acclimation in strain N33. Bacterial cells were grown at three different growing temperatures (4°C, 10°C and 21°C). Cells from 21°C were also cold-exposed to 4°C for different times (2, 4, 8, 60 and 240 minutes). We identified that poly-unsaturated linoleic acids 18∶2 (9, 12) & 18∶2 (6, 9) were more abundant in cells growing at 4 or 10°C, than in cells cultivated at 21°C. The mono-unsaturated phospho/neutral fatty acids myristoleic acid 14∶1(11) were the most significantly overexpressed (45-fold) after 1hour of exposure to 4°C. As reported in the literature, these fatty acids play important roles in cold adaptability by supplying cell membrane fluidity, and by providing energy to cells. Analysis of water-soluble compounds revealed that isobutyrate, sarcosine, threonine and valine were more accumulated during exposure to 4°C. These metabolites might play a role in conferring cold acclimation to strain N33 at 4°C, probably by acting as cryoprotectants. Isobutyrate was highly upregulated (19.4-fold) during growth at 4°C, thus suggesting that this compound is a precursor for the cold-regulated fatty acids modification to low temperature adaptation.PLoS ONE 12/2013; 8(12):e84801. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Much of the Earth's surface, both marine and terrestrial, is either periodically or permanently cold. Although habitats that are largely or continuously frozen are generally considered to be inhospitable to life, psychrophilic organisms have managed to survive in these environments. This is attributed to their innate adaptive capacity to cope with cold and its associated stresses. Here, we review the various environmental, physiological and molecular adaptations that psychrophilic microorganisms use to thrive under adverse conditions. We also discuss the impact of modern "omic" technologies in developing an improved understanding of these adaptations, highlighting recent work in this growing field.EMBO Reports 03/2014; · 7.86 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: RNA-seq studies have an important role for both large-scale analysis of gene expression and for transcriptome reconstruction. However, the lack of software specifically developed for the analysis of the transcriptome structure in lower eukaryotes, has so far limited the comparative studies among different species and strains. In order to fill this gap, an innovative software called ORA (Overlapped Reads Assembler) was developed. This software allows a simple and reliable analysis of the transcriptome structure in organisms with a low number of introns. It can also determine the size and the position of the untranslated regions (UTR) and of polycistronic transcripts. As a case study, we analyzed the transcriptional landscape of six S. cerevisiae strains in two different key steps of the fermentation process. This comparative analysis revealed differences in the UTR regions of transcripts. By extending the transcriptome analysis to yeast species belonging to the Saccharomyces genus, it was possible to examine the conservation level of unknown non-coding RNAs and their putative functional role. By comparing the results obtained using ORA with previous studies and with the transcriptome structure determined with other software, it was proven that ORA has a remarkable reliability. The results obtained from the training set made it possible to detect the presence of transcripts with variable UTRs between S. cerevisiae strains. Finally, we propose a regulatory role for some non-coding transcripts conserved within the Saccharomyces genus and localized in the antisense strand to genes involved in meiosis and cell wall biosynthesis.BMC Genomics 12/2014; 15(1):1045. · 4.04 Impact Factor