Present address: Department of Biology, Building 68–540D, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
Ubiquitous late competence genes in Bacillus species indicate the presence of functional DNA uptake machineries
Article first published online: 15 MAY 2009
© 2009 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 11, Issue 8, pages 1911–1922, August 2009
How to Cite
Kovács, Á. T., Smits, W. K., Mirończuk, A. M. and Kuipers, O. P. (2009), Ubiquitous late competence genes in Bacillus species indicate the presence of functional DNA uptake machineries. Environmental Microbiology, 11: 1911–1922. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2009.01937.x
- Issue published online: 3 AUG 2009
- Article first published online: 15 MAY 2009
- Received 3 February 2009; accepted 13 March 2009.
Natural competence for genetic transformation, i.e. the ability to take up DNA and stably integrate it in the genome, has so far only been observed in the bacterial kingdom (both in Gram-negative and Gram-positive species) and may contribute to survival under adverse growth conditions. Bacillus subtilis, the model organism for the Bacillus genus, possesses a well-characterized competence machinery. Phylogenetic analysis of several genome sequences of different Bacillus species reveals the presence of many, but not all genes potentially involved in competence and its regulation. The recent demonstration of functional DNA uptake by B. cereus supports the significance of our genome analyses and shows that the ability for functional DNA uptake might be widespread among Bacilli.