Microbiomes are important contributors to many ecosystems, including ones where nutrient cycling is stimulated by aeration control. Optimizing cyclic aeration helps reduce energy needs and maximize microbiome performance during wastewater treatment; however, little is known about how most microbial community members respond to these alternating conditions.
This study defined the meta-regulon of a PNA microbiome by combining existing knowledge of how the CRP/FNR family of bacterial TFs respond to stimuli, with metatranscriptomic analyses to characterize gene expression changes during aeration cycles. Results indicated that, for some members of the community, prior knowledge is sufficient for high-confidence assignments of TF function, whereas other community members have CRP/FNR TFs for which inferences of function are limited by lack of prior knowledge.
This study provides a framework to begin elucidating meta-regulons in microbiomes, where pure cultures are not available for traditional transcriptional regulation studies. Defining the meta-regulon can help in optimizing microbiome performance.
Read more in the ASM Journals.