, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 587–597 | Cite as

Oxidative stress under low oxygen conditions triggers hyperflagellation and motility in the Antarctic bacterium Pseudomonas extremaustralis

  • Esmeralda C. Solar Venero
  • Martiniano M. Ricardi
  • María Gomez-Lozano
  • Søren Molin
  • Paula M. TribelliEmail author
  • Nancy I. LópezEmail author
Original Paper


Reactive oxygen species and nitrogen species (ROS and RNS), produced in a wide range of physiological process even under low oxygen availability, are among the main stressors found in the environment. Strategies developed to combat them constitute key features in bacterial adaptability and survival. Pseudomonas extremaustralis is a metabolic versatile and stress resistant Antarctic bacterium, able to grow under different oxygen conditions. The present work explores the effect of oxidative stress under low oxygen conditions in P. extremaustralis, by combining RNA deep sequencing analysis and physiological studies. Cells grown under microaerobiosis exhibited more oxidative damage in macromolecules and lower survival rates than under aerobiosis. RNA-seq analysis showed an up-regulation of genes related with oxidative stress response, flagella, chemotaxis and biofilm formation while chaperones and cytochromes were down-regulated. Microaerobic cultures exposed to H2O2 also displayed a hyper-flagellated phenotype coupled with a high motility behavior. Moreover, cells that were subjected to oxidative stress presented increased biofilm formation. Altogether, our results suggest that a higher motile behavior and augmented capacity to form biofilm structures could work in addition to well-known antioxidant enzymes and non-enzymatic ROS scavenging mechanisms to cope with oxidative stress at low oxygen tensions.


RNA-seq Biofilms Low oxygen availability Antioxidative enzymes Chemotaxis Reactive oxygen species 









Gene ontology


PCR Quantitative real-time PCR


Reactive nitrogen species


Reactive oxygen species


Reads per kilobase per million mapped reads


Superoxide dismutases


Small RNA


Transmission electron microscopy



This work was supported by the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) [grant number PIP No. 11220130100450CO]; and the Universidad de Buenos Aires [grant number 20020170100310BA]. MMR, PMT and NIL are career investigators from CONICET (Argentina). ECSV has a graduate student fellowship from CONICET.

Author contributions

ECSV, PMT and NIL conceived and designed the experiments. ECSV, MGL and PMT performed the experiments. ECSV, PMT, MMR and NIL analyzed the data. SM and NIL contributed with reagents/materials/analysis tools. ECSV, PMT and NIL wrote the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest


Supplementary material

792_2019_1110_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (306 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 306 kb)
792_2019_1110_MOESM2_ESM.docx (34 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 33 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Esmeralda C. Solar Venero
    • 1
  • Martiniano M. Ricardi
    • 2
  • María Gomez-Lozano
    • 3
  • Søren Molin
    • 3
  • Paula M. Tribelli
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Nancy I. López
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.IQUIBICEN-CONICETBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Instituto de Fisiología, Biología Molecular y Neurociencias, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y NaturalesUniversidad de Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for BiosustainabilityTechnical University of DenmarkLyngbyDenmark
  4. 4.Departamento de Química Biológica, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y NaturalesUniversidad de Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina

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