Metabolic Context of the Competence-Induced Checkpoint for Cell Replication in Streptococcus suis

Edoardo Zaccaria, Jerry M. Wells, Peter van Baarlen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Natural genetic transformation is a transient, rapidly progressing energy-consuming process characterized by expression of the transformasome and competence-associated regulatory genes. This transient state is tightly controlled to avoid potentially adverse effects of genetic recombination on genome integrity during cell division. We investigated the global response of Streptococcus suis to exposure to the SigX competence-inducing peptide (XIP), and thus to the activation of the competence machinery, using time series analysis together with PCA analysis, gene clustering followed by heatmap visualisation, and GO enrichment analysis. We explored the possible regulatory link between metabolism and competence, and predicted the physiological adaptation of S. suis during competence induction, progression and exit using transcriptome analysis. We showed that competence development is associated with a suppression of basal metabolism, which may have consequences for the microbe's resilience to fluctuations in the environment, as competence is costly in terms of use of energy and protein translation. Furthermore our data suggest that several basal metabolic pathways are incompatible with activation of competence in S. suis. This study also showed that targeting specific pathways during the development of competence, might render S. suis more vulnerable toward novel antibiotic therapies.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0153571
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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