Differential stress transcriptome landscape of historic and recently emerged hypervirulent strains of Clostridium difficile strains determined using RNA-seq

PLoS One. 2013 Nov 7;8(11):e78489. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078489. eCollection 2013.


C. difficile is the most common cause of nosocomial diarrhea in North America and Europe. Genomes of individual strains of C. difficile are highly divergent. To determine how divergent strains respond to environmental changes, the transcriptomes of two historic and two recently isolated hypervirulent strains were analyzed following nutrient shift and osmotic shock. Illumina based RNA-seq was used to sequence these transcriptomes. Our results reveal that although C. difficile strains contain a large number of shared and strain specific genes, the majority of the differentially expressed genes were core genes. We also detected a number of transcriptionally active regions that were not part of the primary genome annotation. Some of these are likely to be small regulatory RNAs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Clostridioides difficile* / genetics
  • Clostridioides difficile* / metabolism
  • Clostridioides difficile* / pathogenicity
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging* / genetics
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging* / metabolism
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous* / genetics
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous* / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial / genetics
  • Humans
  • Osmotic Pressure*
  • RNA, Bacterial* / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Bacterial* / genetics
  • Species Specificity
  • Transcriptome*


  • RNA, Bacterial