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Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.00863

Regulation mechanism mediated by trans-encoded sRNA Nc117 in short chain alcohols tolerance in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803

 Yanqi Bi1, 2, 3,  Guangsheng Pei1, 2, 3,  Tao Sun1, 2, 3,  Zixi Chen1, 2, 3,  Lei Chen1, 2, 3* and  Weiwen Zhang1, 2, 3, 4
  • 1Laboratory of Synthetic Microbiology, School of Chemical Engineering & Technology, Tianjin University, China
  • 2Key Laboratory of System Bioengineering, Ministry of Education, Tianjin University, China
  • 3Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemical Science and Engineering, Tianjin University, China
  • 4Center for Biosafety Research and Strategy, Tianjin University, China

Microbial small RNAs (sRNAs) play essential roles against many stress conditions in cyanobacteria. However, little is known on their regulatory mechanisms on biofuels tolerance. In our previous sRNA analysis, a trans-encoded sRNA Nc117 was found involved in the tolerance to ethanol and 1-butanol in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. However, its functional mechanism is yet to be determined. In this study, functional characterization of sRNA Nc117 was performed. Briefly, the exact length of the trans-encoded sRNA Nc117 was determined to be 102 nucleotides using 3’ RACE, and the positive regulation of Nc117 on short chain alcohols tolerance was further confirmed. Then, computational target prediction and transcriptomic analysis were integrated to explore the potential targets of Nc117. A total of 119 up-regulated and 116 down-regulated genes were identified in nc117 overexpression strain compared with the wild type by comparative transcriptomic analysis, among which the upstream regions of 5 genes were overlapped with those predicted by computational target approach. Based on the phenotype analysis of gene deletion and overexpression strains under short chain alcohols stress, one gene slr0007 encoding D-glycero-alpha-D-manno-heptose 1-phosphate guanylyltransferase was determined as a potential target of Nc117, suggesting that the synthesis of LPS or S-layer glycoprotein may be responsible for the tolerance enhancement. As the first reported trans-encoded sRNA positively regulating biofuels tolerance in cyanobacteria, this study not only provided evidence for a new regulatory mechanism of trans-encoded sRNA in cyanobacteria, but also valuable information for rational construction of high-tolerant cyanobacterial chassis.

Keywords: trans-encoded sRNA, Synechocystis, tolerance, Biofuels, regulation

Received: 08 Mar 2018; Accepted: 13 Apr 2018.

Edited by:

Qiang Wang, Institute of Hydrobiology (CAS), China

Reviewed by:

Jianhua Fan, East China University of Science and Technology, China
Quanyu Zhao, Nanjing Tech University, China  

Copyright: © 2018 Bi, Pei, Sun, Chen, Chen and Zhang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Lei Chen, Tianjin University, Laboratory of Synthetic Microbiology, School of Chemical Engineering & Technology, 92 Weijin Road, Nankai District, Tianjin, 300072, China, lchen@tju.edu.cn