Antibiotic resistance of soilborne Acinetobacter species has been poorly explored. In this study, norfloxacin resistance of a soil bacterium, Acinetobacter oleivorans DR1, was investigated. The frequencies of mutant appearance of all tested non-pathogenic Acinetobacter strains were lower than those of pathogenic strains under minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). When the quinolone-resistance-determining region of the gyrA gene was examined, only one mutant (His78Asn) out of 10 resistant variants had a mutation. Whole transcriptome analysis using a RNA-Seq demonstrated that genes involved in SOS response and DNA repair were significantly up-regulated by norfloxacin. Determining the MICs of survival cells after norfloxacin treatment confirmed some of those cells were indeed persister cells. Ten colonies, randomly selected from among those that survived in the presence of norfloxacin, did not exhibit increased MIC. Thus, both the low mutation frequency of the target gene and SOS response under norfloxacin suggested that persister formation might contribute to the resistance of DR1 against norfloxacin. The persister frequency increased without a change in MIC when stationary phase cells, low growth rates conditions, and growth-deficient dnaJ mutant were used. Taken together, our comprehensive approach, which included mutational analysis of the target gene, persister formation assays, and RNA sequencing, indicated that DR1 survival when exposed to norfloxacin is related not only to target gene mutation but also to persister formation, possibly through up-regulation of the SOS response and DNA repair genes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology