Construction and usage of a onefold-coverage shotgun DNA microarray to characterize the metabolism of the archaeon Haloferax volcanii

Mol Microbiol. 2003 May;48(4):1089-105. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2958.2003.03497.x.


Haloferax volcanii is a moderately halophilic archaeon that can grow aerobically and anaerobically with a variety of substrates. We undertook a novel approach for the characterization of metabolic adaptations, i.e. transcriptome analysis with a onefold-coverage shotgun DNA microarray. A genomic library was constructed and converted into a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) product library, which was used to print two DNA microarrays, a 960-spot test array used for optimization of microarray analysis and a 2880-spot onefold-coverage array. H. volcanii cultures were shifted from casamino acid-based metabolism to glucose-based metabolism, and the transcriptome changes were analysed with the onefold-coverage array at five time points covering the transition phase and the onset of exponential growth with the new carbon source. About 10% of all genes were found to be more than 2.5-fold regulated at at least one time point. The genes fall into five clusters of kinetically co-regulated genes. For members of all five clusters, the results were verified by Northern blot analyses. The identity of the regulated genes was determined by sequencing. Many co-regulated genes encode proteins of common functions. Expected as well as a variety of unexpected findings allowed predictions about the central metabolism, the transport capacity and the cellular composition of H. volcanii growing on casamino acids and on glucose. The microarray analyses are in accordance with the growth rates and ribosome contents of H. volcanii growing on the two carbon sources. Analysis of the results revealed that onefold-coverage shotgun DNA microarrays are well suited to characterize the regulation of metabolic pathways as well as protein complexes in response to changes in environmental conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Archaeal
  • Genes, Archaeal / genetics*
  • Haloferax volcanii / genetics*
  • Haloferax volcanii / growth & development
  • Haloferax volcanii / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • RNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • RNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic / genetics*


  • RNA, Bacterial