In order to provide new information about the adaptation of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans during the bioleaching process, the current analysis presents the first report of the global transcriptional response of the native copper mine strain Wenelen (DSM 16786) oxidized under different sulfide minerals. Microarrays were used to measure the response of At. ferrooxidans Wenelen to shifts from iron supplemented liquid cultures (reference state) to the addition of solid substrates enriched in pyrite or chalcopyrite. Genes encoding for energy metabolism showed a similar transcriptional profile for the two sulfide minerals. Interestingly, four operons related to sulfur metabolism were over-expressed during growth on a reduced sulfur source. Genes associated with metal tolerance (RND and ATPases type P) were up-regulated in the presence of pyrite or chalcopyrite. These results suggest that At. ferrooxidans Wenelen presents an efficient transcriptional system developed to respond to environmental conditions, namely the ability to withstand high copper concentrations. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.