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Dynamics of plc gene transcription and α-toxin production during growth of Clostridium perfringens strains with contrasting α-toxin production

Abildgaard, Lone, Schramm, Andreas, Rudi, Knut, Højberg, Ole
Veterinary microbiology 2009 v.139 no.1-2 pp. 202-206
chickens, necrotic enteritis, Clostridium perfringens, pathogenesis, pathotypes, bacterial toxins, biosynthesis, microbial growth, molecular genetics, transcription (genetics), genes, phospholipase C, translation (genetics), strain differences, virulence, gene expression, microbial genetics
The aim of the present study was to investigate transcription dynamics of the α-toxin-encoding plc gene relative to two housekeeping genes (gyrA and rplL) in batch cultures of three Clostridium perfringens strains with low, intermediate, and high levels of α-toxin production, respectively. The plc transcript level was always low in the low α-toxin producing strain. For the two other strains, plc transcription showed an inducible pattern and reached a maximum level in the late exponential growth phase. The transcription levels were however inversely correlated to α-toxin production for the two strains. We propose that this discrepancy is due to differences in plc translation rates between the strains and that strain-specific translational rates therefore must be determined before α-toxin production can be extrapolated from transcript levels in C. perfringens.