Table_1_Bacterial Acid Resistance Toward Organic Weak Acid Revealed by RNA-Seq Transcriptomic Analysis in Acetobacter pasteurianus.xlsx

Under extreme acidic environments, bacteria exploit several acid resistance (AR) mechanisms for enhancing their survival, which is concerned with several aspects, such as issues in human health and fermentation for acidic products. Currently, knowledge of bacterial AR mainly comes from the strong acid (such as hydrochloric acid) stresses, whereas AR mechanisms against organic weak acids (such as acetic acid), which are indeed encountered by bacteria, are less understood. Acetic acid bacteria (AAB), with the ability to produce acetic acid up to 20 g/100 mL, possess outstanding acetic acid tolerance, which is conferred by their unique AR mechanisms, including pyrroloquinoline quinine-dependent alcohol dehydrogenase, acetic acid assimilation and molecular chaperons. The distinguished AR of AAB toward acetic acid may provide a paradigm for research in bacterial AR against weak organic acids. In order to understand AAB’s AR mechanism more holistically, omics approaches have been employed in the corresponding field. However, the currently reported transcriptomic study was processed under a low-acidity (1 g/100 mL) environment, which could not reflect the general conditions that AAB are usually faced with. This study performed RNA-Seq transcriptomic analysis investigating AR mechanisms in Acetobacter pasteurianus CGMCC 1.41, a widely used vinegar-brewing AAB strain, at different stages of fermentation, namely, under different acetic acid concentrations (from 0.6 to 6.03 g/100 mL). The results demonstrated the even and clustered genomic distribution of up- and down-regulated genes, respectively. Difference in AR between AAB and other microorganisms was supported by the down-regulation of urea degradation and trehalose synthesis-related genes in response to acetic acid. Detailed analysis reflected the role of ethanol respiration as the main energy source and the limited effect of acetic acid assimilation on AR during fermentation as well as the competition between ethanol respiratory chain and NADH, succinate dehydrogenase-based common respiratory chain. Molecular chaperons contribute to AR, too, but their regulatory mechanisms require further investigation. Moreover, pathways of glucose catabolism and fatty acid biosynthesis are also related to AR. Finally, 2-methylcitrate cycle was proposed as an AR mechanism in AAB for the first time. This study provides new insight into AR mechanisms of AAB, and it also indicates the existence of numerous undiscovered AR mechanisms.