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Abstract

Abstract

Bacterial transformation, a programmed mechanism for genetic exchange originally discovered in , is widespread in bacteria. It is based on the uptake and integration of exogenous DNA into the recipient genome. This review examines whether induction of competence for genetic transformation is a general response to stress in gram-positive bacteria. It compares data obtained with bacteria chosen for their different lifestyles, the soil-dweller and the major human pathogen . The review focuses on the relationship between competence and other global responses in , as well as on recent evidence for competence induction in response to DNA damage or antibiotics and for the ability of to use competence as a substitute for SOS. This comparison reveals that the two species use different fitness-enhancing strategies in response to stress conditions. Whereas combines competence and SOS induction, relies only on competence to generate genetic diversity through transformation.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.micro.60.080805.142139
2006-10-13
2024-06-13
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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