Thermal adaptation strategies of the extremophile bacterium Thermus filiformis based on multi-omics analysis
Thermus filiformis is an aerobic thermophilic bacterium isolated from a hot spring in New Zealand. The experimental study of the mechanisms of thermal adaptation is important to unveil response strategies of the microorganism to stress. In this study, the main pathways involved on T. filiformis thermoadaptation, as well as, thermozymes with potential biotechnological applications were revealed based on omics approaches. The strategy adopted in this study disclosed that pathways related to the carbohydrate metabolism were affected in response to thermoadaptation. High temperatures triggered oxidative stress, leading to repression of genes involved in glycolysis and the tricarboxylic acid cycle. During heat stress, the glucose metabolism occurred predominantly via the pentose phosphate pathway instead of the glycolysis pathway. Other processes, such as protein degradation, stringent response, and duplication of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, were also related to T. filiformis thermoadaptation. The heat-shock response influenced the carotenoid profile of T. filiformis, favoring the synthesis of thermozeaxanthins and thermobiszeaxanthins, which are related to membrane stabilization at high temperatures. Furthermore, antioxidant enzymes correlated with free radical scavenging, including superoxide dismutase, catalase and peroxidase, and metabolites, such as oxaloacetate and α-ketoglutarate, were accumulated at 77 °C.