Differential expression of virulence-related genes in A Salmonella enterica serotype typhimurium luxS mutant in response to autoinducer AI-2 and poultry meat-derived AI-2 inhibitor. Academic Article uri icon


  • Bacterial cells communicate with each other and respond to external stimuli using signal molecules called autoinducers (AIs). Poultry meat contains inhibitors that apparently interfere with AI-2 signaling. Our objective was to understand the expression of Salmonella Typhimurium genes (using spotted microarrays) in response to AI-2 in the presence, and absence, of poultry meat (PM) derived AI-2 inhibitors. Expression of 1136 virulence-related genes in Salmonella Typhimurium wildtype and its isogenic luxS mutant strain (unable to produce AI-2) was monitored when the cells were exposed for 3 hours to different treatments containing in vitro synthesized AI-2 and a PM inhibitor (AI-2, AI-2 + PM, or PM alone). The responses of the genes were unique in the presence of in vitro synthesized AI-2. Of 1136 genes on the array, 23 genes were differentially expressed (either upregulated or downregulated) at least 1.5-fold (P < 0.05) in the presence of AI-2. Exposure to the PM inhibitor resulted in 36 genes being differentially expressed, while the combined AI-2 + PM treatment resulted in 22 genes being differentially expressed, of which only 7 genes showed overlap with the PM treatment, suggesting a unique response when AI-2 interacts with the inhibitor molecules. The results suggest that Salmonella gene expression can vary depending on the presence or absence of the poultry meat matrix and/or AI-2 molecules. Understanding the interaction of AI-2 and inhibitors of AI-2 activity found in poultry meat can help explain Salmonella survival and virulence on poultry products.

published proceedings

  • Foodborne Pathog Dis

author list (cited authors)

  • Widmer, K. W., Jesudhasan, P. R., Dowd, S. E., & Pillai, S. D.

citation count

  • 18

complete list of authors

  • Widmer, Kenneth W||Jesudhasan, Palmy R||Dowd, Scot E||Pillai, Suresh D

publication date

  • March 2007