Identification and characterisation of ncRNAs in dormant bacteria

Luidalepp, Hannes (4 May 2015). Identification and characterisation of ncRNAs in dormant bacteria (Unpublished). In: Microsymposium on small RNAs. Wien, Österreich. 04.-06.05.2015.

Recent years have led to increasing interest and appreciation of the possible importance of single cell heterogeneity in various biological processes. One of the examples of phenotypic heterogeneity in bacterial populations is antibiotic tolerant persister cells. Such an antibiotic tolerance phenotype is of considerable clinical relevance since dormant bacteria can re-establish infections rapidly after the antibiotic treatment has been terminated. Up to now mechanisms for establishing the persistence phenomenon in bacteria have remained largely enigmatic. Persisters are cells considered to be in a dormant state with down regulated gene expression. Only recently small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) have been appreciated as important regulators of gene expression in response to environmental stimuli and several theoretical studies have suggested a possible involvement of sRNAs in the mechanisms of regulated heterogeneity in bacteria.
We have experimentally addressed this potential link between sRNAs and persistence/dormancy in E. coli as an example of heterogeneity. Beside classical sRNAs we are focusing also on sRNAs directly associating with and possibly regulating the ribosome, the central enzyme of gene expression. The persister and dormant cell specific sRNA profile is studied by the comparative analysis of sRNA profile changes of the whole bacterial population after antibiotic killing. From RNA-Seq data ~ 25 000 potentially stable RNA fragments were identified and initial analysis predicted ~300 of them to be dormant/persister cell specific. After further evaluation the most prominent dormant/persister cell specific sRNAs are functionally characterized and their potential role in the persistence/dormancy will be evaluated by applying genetic, molecular and biochemical tools. The potential results of this project will provide a better understanding on the molecular mechanism of bacterial persistence/dormancy and on the role of ribosome-bound sRNA molecules in fine-tuning gene expression.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)

UniBE Contributor:

Luidalepp, Hannes


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry




Christina Schüpbach

Date Deposited:

28 Jan 2016 16:13

Last Modified:

28 Jan 2016 16:13


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