Comparative transcriptome and phenotype analysis of acid-stressed Bacillus cereus strain ATCC 14579



The food-borne human pathogen Bacillus cereus is found in environments that often have a low pH, such as food and soil. The physiological response upon exposure to several levels of acidity were investigated of B. cereus model strain ATCC 14579, to elucidate the response of B. cereus to acid stress. pH 5.4, pH 5.0, pH 4.8 and pH 4.5 were selected to conduct microarray analyses, based on the differences in physiological response upon exposure to the acid conditions. The transcriptome data revealed response specific profiles. Showing mechanisms induced upon all the different acid down-shocks, such as nitrate reductase and energy production genes, and several genes specifically expressed differentially in mild or lethal levels of acidity, such as F1F0-ATPase and cydAB. Furthermore, mechanisms involved in oxidative stress response were found highly up-regulated in response to both mild and lethal acid stress. The induction of oxidative stress related genes may be a response to the formation of reactive oxygen species by a perturbation of the electron transport chain. Therefore, the formation of hydroxyl radicals and/ or peroxynitrite was monitored upon exposure to the different levels of acidity with a fluorescent probe in a flow cytometer. The formation of these oxidative compounds was shown to be specific for lethal pHs and a model to relate radical formation with the observed transcriptome profiles was proposed.
Date made available25 Nov 2009
PublisherWageningen University


  • Bacillus cereus

Accession numbers

  • GSE13711
  • PRJNA114641

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