BMC genomics

Mapping the CgrA regulon of Rhodospirillum centenum reveals a hierarchal network controlling Gram-negative cyst development.

PMID 26673205


Several Gram-negative species undergo development leading to the formation of metabolically dormant desiccation resistant cysts. Recent analysis of cyst development has revealed that ~20xa0% of the Rhodospirillum centenum transcriptome undergo temporal changes in expression as cells transition from vegetative to cyst forms. It has also been established that one trigger for cyst formation is the synthesis of the signaling nucleotide 3', 5'- cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) that is sensed by a homolog of the catabolite repressor protein called CgrA. CgrA in the presence of cGMP initiate a cascade of gene expression leading to the development of cysts. In this study, we have used RNA-seq and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP-Seq) techniques to define the CgrA-cGMP regulon. Our results indicate that disruption of CgrA leads to altered expression of 258 genes, 131 of which have been previously reported to be involved in cyst development. ChIP-seq analysis combined with transcriptome data also demonstrates that CgrA directly regulates the expression of numerous sigma factors and transcription factors several of which are known to be involved in cyst cell development. This analysis reveals the presence of CgrA binding sites upstream of many developmentally regulated genes including many transcription factors and signal transduction components. CgrA thus functions as master controller of the cyst development by initiating a hierarchal cascade of downstream transcription factors that induces temporal expression of encystment genes.