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Summary

The stress imposed on living organisms by hyperosmotic conditions and low temperature appears to be perceived via changes in the physical state of membrane lipids. We compared genome-wide patterns of transcription between wild-type Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 and cells with a mutation in the histidine kinase Hik33 using a DNA microarray. Our results indicated that Hik33 regulated the expression of both osmostress-inducible and cold-inducible genes. The respective genes that were regulated by Hik33 under hyperosmotic and low-temperature conditions were, for the most part, different from one another. However, Hik33 also regulated the expression of a set of genes whose expression was induced both by osmotic stress and by cold stress. These results indicate that Hik33 is involved in responses to osmotic stress and low-temperature stress but that the mechanisms of the responses differ.