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Subpopulation-specific transcriptome analysis of cytometrically sorted Streptococcus mutans cells: Analysis of CSP-mediated intrapopulation diversity

ABSTRACT: Transcriptional profiling of the competence-stimulating peptide (CSP) response in Streptococcus mutans of FACS-separated subpopulations and mixed cells of a clonal culture. CSP-mediated competence development in S. mutans is a transient and biphasic process since only a subpopulation induces expression of ComX in the presence of CSP and activation of the DNA uptake machinery in this fraction shuts down ~3-4 hours post induction. Here we combine, for the first time in bacteria to our knowledge, flow cytometric sorting of cells and subpopulation-specific transcriptome analysis of both the competent and non-competent fractions of CSP-treated S. mutans cells. Sorting was guided by a ComX-GFP reporter and the transcriptome analysis demonstrated the successful combination of both methods because a strong enrichment of transcripts for comX and its downstream genes was achieved. Three two-component systems were expressed in the competent fraction, among them ComDE. Moreover, the recently identified regulator system ComR/S was expressed exclusively in the competent fraction. By contrast, expression of bacteriocin-related genes was at the same level in all cells. GFP reporter strains for ComE and mutacin V confirmed this expression pattern on the single cell level. Fluorescence microscopy revealed that some ComX-expressing cells committed autolysis in an early stage of competence initiation. In viable ComX-expressing cells, uptake of DNA could be shown on the single cell level. This study demonstrates that all cells in the population respond to CSP through activation of bacteriocin-related genes but that two subpopulations segregate, one becoming competent and another one that lyses, resulting in intrapopulation diversity of the clonal culture. Overall design: Two conditions: induced and not induced with CSP. Three induced cell populations: competent subpopulation, incompetent subpopulation, all cells. Two biological replicates each population.

INSTRUMENT(S): Agilent-023956 S. mutans UA159-140509

ORGANISM(S): Streptococcus mutans  

SUBMITTER: Andre Lemme  

PROVIDER: GSE25284 | GEO | 2011-02-01



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