Pettersson BM, Das S, Behra PR, Jordan HR, Ramesh M, Mallick A, Root KM, Cheramie MN, de la Cruz Melara I, Small PL, Dasgupta S, Ennis DG, Kirsebom LA
PLoS ONE 10 (10) e0139823 [2015-10-07; online 2015-10-07]
We have used RNASeq and qRT-PCR to study mRNA levels for all σ-factors in different Mycobacterium marinum strains under various growth and stress conditions. We also studied their levels in M. marinum from infected fish and mosquito larvae. The annotated σ-factors were expressed and transcripts varied in relation to growth and stress conditions. Some were highly abundant such as sigA, sigB, sigC, sigD, sigE and sigH while others were not. The σ-factor mRNA profiles were similar after heat stress, during infection of fish and mosquito larvae. The similarity also applies to some of the known heat shock genes such as the α-crystallin gene. Therefore, it seems probable that the physiological state of M. marinum is similar when exposed to these different conditions. Moreover, the mosquito larvae data suggest that this is the state that the fish encounter when infected, at least with respect to σ-factor mRNA levels. Comparative genomic analysis of σ-factor gene localizations in three M. marinum strains and Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv revealed chromosomal rearrangements that changed the localization of especially sigA, sigB, sigD, sigE, sigF and sigJ after the divergence of these two species. This may explain the variation in species-specific expression upon exposure to different growth conditions.