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Title: Transcriptional profiling of the mutualistic bacterium Vibrio fischeri and an hfq mutant under modeled microgravity

For long-duration space missions, it is critical to maintain health-associated homeostasis between astronauts and their microbiome. To achieve this goal it is important to more fully understand the host–symbiont relationship under the physiological stress conditions of spaceflight. To address this issue we examined the impact of a spaceflight analog, low-shear-modeled microgravity (LSMMG), on the transcriptome of the mutualistic bacteriumVibrio fischeri. Cultures ofV. fischeriand a mutant defective in the global regulator Hfq (∆hfq) were exposed to either LSMMG or gravity conditions for 12 h (exponential growth) and 24 h (stationary phase growth). Comparative transcriptomic analysis revealed few to no significant differentially expressed genes between gravity and the LSMMG conditions in the wild type or mutantV. fischeriat exponential or stationary phase. There was, however, a pronounced change in transcriptomic profiles during the transition between exponential and stationary phase growth in bothV. fischericultures including an overall decrease in gene expression associated with translational activity and an increase in stress response. There were also several upregulated stress genes specific to the LSMMG condition during the transition to stationary phase growth. The ∆hfqmutants exhibited a distinctive transcriptome profile with a significant increase in transcripts associated with flagellar synthesis and transcriptional regulators under LSMMG conditions compared to gravity controls. These results indicate the loss of Hfq significantly influences gene expression under LSMMG conditions in a bacterial symbiont. Together, these results improve our understanding of the mechanisms by which microgravity alters the physiology of beneficial host-associated microbes.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
Date Published:
Journal Name:
npj Microgravity
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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