Which Way Is Up: Adaptive Microbial Responses that Buck Human Expectations and Implications for Transcriptomic Data Set Analysis

Session ID#: 9321

Session Description:
The current, increasing availability of faster, cheaper, and broader ‘omics technologies facilitates microbial ecological studies at unprecedented rates. Transcriptional datasets are used as one proxy for metabolic activity, however multiple independent lines of evidence clearly demonstrate that transcriptional activity (and transcript quantity) is not equivalent to metabolic reality. In this tutorial, a range of microbial transcriptional responses counterintuitive to human sensibility will be discussed. Whether considering the up-regulation of transporter genes in the absence of ligand, the up-regulation of central metabolic genes in the absence of substrate, or (biologically-programmed) disconnects between transcription and translation, recent reports and unpublished results tell us that environmental microbes respond in unexpected ways to stress events. A growing understanding of protein modifications and their roles in signaling, regulation, and enzymatic activity further complicates dependence upon transcript-based data. We will discuss the possible competitive value of these various strategies, and the practical impact of such mechanisms on transcriptional dataset analysis.
Moderator:  Steven G Ackleson, S A Ocean Services, Falls Church, VA, United States
Primary Presenter:  Patricia Louise Tavormina, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States
Presenter:  Jeff J Marlow, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States
Index Terms:

1920 Emerging informatics technologies [INFORMATICS]
4805 Biogeochemical cycles, processes, and modeling [OCEANOGRAPHY: BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL]
4840 Microbiology and microbial ecology [OCEANOGRAPHY: BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL]
9399 General or miscellaneous [GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION]
  • ME - Marine Ecosystems
  • MM - Microbiology and Molecular Biology
  • O - Other