We investigated if the transcriptional response of Salmonella Typhimurium to temperature and acid variations was hysteretic, i.e. whether the transcriptional regulation caused by environmental stimuli showed memory and remained after the stimuli ceased. The transcriptional activity of non-replicating stationary phase cells of S. Typhimurium caused by the exposure to 45uC and to pH 5 for 30 min was monitored by microarray hybridizations at the end of the treatment period as well as immediately and 30 minutes after conditions were set back to their initial values, 25uC and pH 7. One hundred and two out of 120 up-regulated genes during the heat shock remained up-regulated 30 minutes after the temperature was set back to 25uC, while only 86 out of 293 down regulated genes remained down regulated 30 minutes after the heat shock ceased. Thus, the majority of the induced genes exhibited hysteresis, i.e., they remained up-regulated after the environmental stress ceased. At 25uC the transcriptional regulation of genes encoding for heat shock proteins was determined by the previous environment. Gene networks constructed with up-regulated genes were significantly more modular than those of down-regulated genes, implying that down-regulation was significantly less synchronized than upregulation. The hysteretic transcriptional response to heat shock was accompanied by higher resistance to inactivation at 50uC as well as cross-resistance to inactivation at pH 3; however, growth rates and lag times at 43uC and at pH 4.5 were not affected. The exposure to pH 5 only caused up-regulation of 12 genes and this response was neither hysteretic nor accompanied of increased resistance to inactivation conditions. Cellular memory at the transcriptional level may represent a mechanism of adaptation to the environment and a deterministic source of variability in gene regulation.