The consistent differential expression of genetic pathways following exposure of an industrialPseudomonas aeruginosastrain to preservatives and a laundry detergent formulation

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Abstract

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common contaminant associated with product recalls in the home and personal care industry. Preservation systems are used to prevent spoilage and protect consumers, but greater knowledge is needed of preservative resistance mechanisms used by P. aeruginosa contaminants. We aimed to identify genetic pathways associated with preservative exposure by using an industrial P. aeruginosa strain and implementing RNA-Seq to understand gene expression changes in response to industry relevant conditions. The consistent differential expression of five genetic pathways during exposure to multiple industrial growth conditions associated with benzisothiazolone (BIT) and phenoxyethanol (POE) preservatives, and a laundry detergent (LD) formulation, was observed. A MexPQ-OpmE Resistance Nodulation Division efflux pump system was commonly upregulated in response to POE, a combination of BIT and POE, and LD together with BIT. In response to all industry conditions, a putative sialic acid transporter and isoprenoid biosynthesis gnyRDBHAL operon demonstrated consistent upregulation. Two operons phnBA and pqsEDCBA involved in Pseudomonas quinolone signaling production and quorum-sensing were also consistently downregulated during exposure to all the industry conditions. The ability to identify consistently differentially expressed genetic pathways in P. aeruginosa can inform the development of future targeted preservation systems that maintain product safety and minimise resistance development.

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