Book of Abstracts: Albany 2009

category image Albany 2009
Conversation 16
June 16-20 2009
© Adenine Press (2008)

RNA sequencing: A deeper look into persisters, drug tolerant bacteria

When a population of genetically identical bacterial cells encounters antibiotics, cells exhibit two phenotypic responses. The majority of the cells die rapidly, but a small fraction of cells survive and they are called persisters. Unlike the well-known phenomenon of drug resistance, persisters are a population of cells with a rare phenotype, the biology of which is poorly understood but is key for combating bacterial diseases such as that caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The gene expression profiling of persisters by conventional DNA microarray has been difficult because the small population of persisters falls below the sensitivity limit. With the advent of next generation sequencing technology, RNA-seq in particular, it is now possible to get a dynamic range and sensitivity at least 100-fold higher than microarrays. We carried out quantitative genome-wide studies of mRNA from persisters in Escherichia coli and M. tuberculosis. This has allowed us to probe deeper into the transcriptome of persisters yielding quantitative information that did not exist before.

Huiyi Chen1, 2
Paul J. Choi 2
Eric J. Rubin 3
X.Sunney Xie2

1 Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
2 Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
12 Oxford St
Cambridge, MA 02138
3 Harvard School of Public Health
Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Armenise 439
200 Longwood Ave
Boston, MA 02115

phone: 617-496-8654
fax: 617-496-8709
email Huiyi Chen