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Background and objectives: The high susceptibility of Campylobacter to several stressors might depend on the lack of typical stress response mechanisms described for other bacteria. Nevertheless, Campylobacter (C.) spp. is able to overcome barriers along the food chain. While data for C. jejuni stress response mechanisms exists, information for C. coli and C. lari are sparse. As C. jejuni showed prolonged survival at 46°C compared to C. coli and C. lari, we investigated the gene expression profiles of common heat shock genes of the three species.
Materials and methods: Cultures at late exponential growth phase were harvested and resuspended in fresh medium preconditioned to 46 °C and 37 °C, respectively. Total RNA was extracted after 5, 15, 30, 45 and 60 min of heat shock and cDNA synthesised. Using RTqPCR the gene expression of several heat shock associated genes was determined.
Results: In comparison, highest regulation of gene expression was detected in C. coli, followed by C. jejuni and C. lari. While in C. jejuni a continuous increase of mRNA levels was detected over 60 min, the highest mRNA levels in C. coli and C. lari were reached after 15 min, remaining at this level until 60 min.
Conclusion: Even though differences in the intensity and the time course of regulation could be determined between the three species the tendency of up and down regulation of orthologs is mostly similar.