The dynamic transcriptome of natural competence in Streptococcus suis

Baarlen, Peter van; Zaccaria, Edoardo; Wels, Michiel


Streptococcus suis is a major pig pathogen as well as an emerging zoonotic pathogen. In a previous study (Zaccaria et al. Plos One DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099394) we identified the natural pheromone-induced competence system of S. suis. To identify the mechanisms enabling competence, gene expression analysis of bacteria induced or not for competence, and in presence or absence of exogenous DNA, was assessed at 5, 15 and 45 minutes after pheromone addition. The transcriptomes showed how competence was induced and eventually shut down, and which metabolic pathways were repressed or induced when competence was active or shut down.