Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Microbiology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Identification of new developmentally regulated genes involved in Streptomyces coelicolor sporulation

Paola Salerno13, Jessica Persson1, Giselda Bucca2, Emma Laing2, Nora Ausmees1, Colin P Smith2 and Klas Flärdh1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biology, Lund University, Sölvegatan 35, 22362 Lund, Sweden

2 Department of Microbial and Cellular Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, GU2 7XH Guildford, UK

3 Present address: Prokarium Ltd, Stephenson Building, Science Park, ST5 5SP Keele, UK

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Microbiology 2013, 13:281  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-13-281

Published: 5 December 2013

Abstract

Background

The sporulation of aerial hyphae of Streptomyces coelicolor is a complex developmental process. Only a limited number of the genes involved in this intriguing morphological differentiation programme are known, including some key regulatory genes. The aim of this study was to expand our knowledge of the gene repertoire involved in S. coelicolor sporulation.

Results

We report a DNA microarray-based investigation of developmentally controlled gene expression in S. coelicolor. By comparing global transcription patterns of the wild-type parent and two mutants lacking key regulators of aerial hyphal sporulation, we found a total of 114 genes that had significantly different expression in at least one of the two mutants compared to the wild-type during sporulation. A whiA mutant showed the largest effects on gene expression, while only a few genes were specifically affected by whiH mutation. Seven new sporulation loci were investigated in more detail with respect to expression patterns and mutant phenotypes. These included SCO7449-7451 that affect spore pigment biogenesis; SCO1773-1774 that encode an L-alanine dehydrogenase and a regulator-like protein and are required for maturation of spores; SCO3857 that encodes a protein highly similar to a nosiheptide resistance regulator and affects spore maturation; and four additional loci (SCO4421, SCO4157, SCO0934, SCO1195) that show developmental regulation but no overt mutant phenotype. Furthermore, we describe a new promoter-probe vector that takes advantage of the red fluorescent protein mCherry as a reporter of cell type-specific promoter activity.

Conclusion

Aerial hyphal sporulation in S. coelicolor is a technically challenging process for global transcriptomic investigations since it occurs only as a small fraction of the colony biomass and is not highly synchronized. Here we show that by comparing a wild-type to mutants lacking regulators that are specifically affecting processes in aerial hypha, it is possible to identify previously unknown genes with important roles in sporulation. The transcriptomic data reported here should also serve as a basis for identification of further developmentally important genes in future functional studies.

Keywords:
Differentiation; Aerial mycelium; Spore; Transcriptome; Spore pigment; Alanine dehydrogenase