Changes in DNA Supertwist as a Response of Bacillus Subtilis Towards Different Kinds of Stress

FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1995 Dec 15;134(2-3):129-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.1995.tb07926.x.


We have investigated the change in DNA supercoiling in Bacillus subtilis after exposure to different kinds of stress. No or only minor effects are induced by solvents. Anaerobiosis and heat shock result in plasmids which are less negatively supercoiled. Cold shock and salt stress result in an increase in negative supercoiling. The reduction of linking number starts immediately after addition of NaCl, and reached a maximal value after 2 min. Primer extension experiments revealed that the mRNA level of the gyrA gene is not specifically changed by stress. The response in B. subtilis is inverse to the response in vitro. We discuss the possible effects of these inverse in vivo and in vitro responses for B. subtilis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus subtilis / chemistry*
  • Bacillus subtilis / drug effects
  • Bacillus subtilis / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • Cold Temperature
  • DNA Gyrase
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II / genetics
  • DNA, Bacterial / chemistry*
  • DNA, Superhelical / chemistry*
  • Escherichia coli / chemistry
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Hot Temperature
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • RNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • RNA, Bacterial / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Sodium Chloride / pharmacology
  • Species Specificity


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA, Superhelical
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Sodium Chloride
  • DNA Gyrase
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II