Toxicogenomic Response of Rhodospirillum rubrum S1H to the Micropollutant Triclosan

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In the framework of the Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative (MELiSSA) project, a pilot study was performed to identify the effects of triclosan on the MELiSSA carbon-mineralizing microorganism Rhodospirillum rubrum S1H. Triclosan is a biocide that is commonly found in human excrement and is considered an emerging pollutant in wastewater and the environment. Chronic exposure to MELiSSA-relevant concentrationsof triclosan resulted in a significant extension of the lag phase of this organism but hardly affected the growth rate. Using microarray analyses, the genetic mechanisms supporting the reversibility of triclosan-induced inhibition were scrutinized. An extremely triclosan-responsive cluster of four small adjacent genes was identified, for which there was up to 34-fold induction with 25 μg liter−1 triclosan. These four genes appear to be unique to R. rubrum and are shown here for the first time to be involved in the response to stress. Moreover, numerous other systems that are associated with the proton motive force were shown to be responsive to triclosan, but they were never as highly upregulated as the muf genes. In response to triclosan, The muf genes and three efflux-related genes showed the most potential to be low-dose biomarkers.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3503-3513
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2010


  • MELiSSA, Rhodospirillum rubrum, Triclosan, microarrays

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