The general stress response (GSR) allows many bacterial species to react to myriad different stressors. In Alphaproteobacteria, this signaling pathway proceeds through the partner-switching PhyR-EcfG sigma-factor mechanism and is involved in multiple life processes, including virulence in Brucella abortus. To date, details of the alphaproteobacterial GSR signaling pathway have been determined using genetic and biochemical work on a diverse set of species distributed throughout the clade. Fiebig and co-workers establish Erythrobacter litoralis DSM 8509 as a genetically tractable lab strain and use it to both directly and indirectly delineate photoresponsive GSR pathways mediated by multiple HWE/HisKA_2 histidine kinases. The existence of a new phototrophic lab strain allows researchers to compare the GSR across different Alphaproteobacteria, as well as study the interplay between the GSR and phototrophy. Additionally, the discovery of new HWE/HisKA_2 kinases regulating the GSR poses new questions about how different stimuli feed into this widespread stress pathway.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology