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GTL Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Discover Key Clues to Microbial Stress Response and Adaptation

Details appear in J. Bact. 188 (11): 4068-4078.

An Integrated Model of Microbial Stress Response. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) investigators Aindrila Mukhopadhyay, Adam Arkin, and Jay Keasling, together with co-investigators on the LBNL Virtual Institute of Microbial Stress and Survival (VIMSS) project, discover key clues to how the microbe Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough adapts its physiology to enable survival in habitats containing toxic and radioactive metal wastes and fluctuating hypersalinity. Using a variety of approaches such as transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolite assays, and electron microscopy, the VIMSS team applied a systems approach to explore the effects of a model stressor, excess NaCl, on D. vulgaris. They discovered that this microbe’s coping mechanisms include importation of protective small molecules, the up-regulation of pump systems and the ATP synthesis (metabolic energy) pathway, changes in the stability of nucleic acids, changes in cell wall fluidity, and an increase in the activity of chemotaxis genes. The systems-level integration of data from multiple methods has led to a conceptual model for salt stress response in D. vulgaris that can now be compared to other microorganisms, leading to general, predictive models of microbial stress response and adaptation.

Reference: A. Mukhopadhyay, Z. He, E. Alm, A. Arkin, E. Baidoo, S. Borglin, W. Chen, T. Hazen, Q. He, H.-Y. Holman, K. Huang, R. Huang, D. Joyner, N. Katz, M. Keller, P. Oeller, A. Redding, J. Sun, J. Wall, J. Wei, Z. Yang, H.-C. Yen, J. Zhou, and J. Keasling (2006) "Salt Stress in Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough: an Integrated Genomics Approach", J. Bact. 188 (11): 4068-4078.

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