The development of high-throughput technology using RNA-seq has allowed understanding of cellular mechanisms and regulations of bacterial transcription. In addition, transcriptome analysis with RNA-seq has been used to accelerate strain improvement through systems metabolic engineering. Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942, a photosynthetic bacterium, has remarkable potential for biochemical and biofuel production due to photoautotrophic cell growth and direct CO2 conversion. Here, we performed a transcriptome analysis of S. elongatus PCC 7942 using RNA-seq to understand the changes of cellular metabolism and regulation for nitrogen starvation responses. As a result, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified and functionally categorized. With mapping onto metabolic pathways, we probed transcriptional perturbation and regulation of carbon and nitrogen metabolisms relating to nitrogen starvation responses. Experimental evidence such as chlorophyll a and phycobilisome content and the measurement of CO2 uptake rate validated the transcriptome analysis. The analysis suggests that S. elongatus PCC 7942 reacts to nitrogen starvation by not only rearranging the cellular transport capacity involved in carbon and nitrogen assimilation pathways but also by reducing protein synthesis and photosynthesis activities.
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