Comparison of transcript ranks for genes related to nutritional status and growth state. Shown are comparisons for selected genes involved in glucose uptake (A); oxygen limitation (B); iron limitation (C); presence of nitrate (D); and growth phase (E). Panel F shows the association between the difference in gene ranks for PA3622 (rpoS) and PA4853 (fis) and specific growth rate. Colored symbols correspond to individual data sets as given in Table 2 and Additional file 1. An asterisk next to a data point indicates a statistically significant difference between the indicated data set and the combined data of three standard comparator data sets (see Materials and Methods for specifics). In panel E, which concerns growth rate, the statistical comparison is to the two comparator data sets in exponential phase; the untreated control of Nalca et al was omitted. Where a label such as "Fe limitation" appears, it denotes a transcriptome that can be considered a positive control. Where no such label appears, a suitable positive control data set was lacking.