Clostridium beijerinckii DG-8052, derived from NCIMB 8052, cannot produce solvent or form spores, a phenomenon known as degeneration. To explore the mechanisms of degeneration at the gene level, transcriptomic profiles of the wild-type 8052 and DG-8052 strains were compared. Expression of 5168 genes comprising 98.6% of the genome was assessed. Interestingly, 548 and 702 genes were significantly up-regulated in the acidogenesis and solventogenesis phases of DG-8052, respectively, and mainly responsible for the phosphotransferase system, sugar metabolic pathways, and chemotaxis; meanwhile, 699 and 797 genes were significantly down-regulated, respectively, and mainly responsible for sporulation, oxidoreduction, and solventogenesis. The functions of some altered genes, including 286 and 333 at the acidogenesis and solventogenesis phases, respectively, remain unknown. Dysregulation of the fermentation machinery was accompanied by lower transcription levels of glycolysis rate-limiting enzymes (pfk and pyk), and higher transcription of cell chemotaxis genes (cheA, cheB, cheR, cheW, and cheY), controlled mainly by sigma(54) at acidogenesis. Meanwhile, abnormal spore formation was associated with repressed spo0A, sigE, sigF, sigG, and sigK which are positively regulated by sigma(70), and correspondingly inhibited expression of CoA-transferase at the solventogenesis phase. These findings indicated that morphological and physiological changes in the degenerated Clostridium strain may be related to altered expression of sigma factors, providing valuable targets for strain development of Clostridium species.
Zhang, Y., Jiao, S., Lv, J., Du, R., Yan, X., Wan, C., … Han, B. (2017). Sigma factor regulated cellular response in a non-solvent producing Clostridium beijerinckii degenerated strain: A comparative transcriptome analysis. Frontiers in Microbiology, 8(JAN). https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2017.00023