Jun 27, 2019

Diversity in natural transformation frequencies and regulation across Vibrio species

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Chelsea A SimpsonJulia van Kessel


In marine Vibrio species, chitin-induced natural transformation enables bacteria to take up DNA from the external environment and integrate it into their genome via homologous recombination. Expression of the master competence regulator TfoX bypasses the need for chitin induction and drives expression of the genes required for competence in several Vibrio species. Here, we show that TfoX expression in two Vibrio campbellii strains, DS40M4 and NBRC 15631, enables high frequencies of natural transformation. Conversely, transformation was not achieved in the model quorum-sensing strain V. campbellii BB120 (previously classified as Vibrio harveyi). Surprisingly, we find that quorum sensing is not required for transformation in V. campbellii DS40M4. This result is in contrast to Vibrio cholerae that requires the quorum-sensing regulator HapR to activate the competence regulator QstR. However, similar to V. cholerae, QstR is necessary for transformation in DS40M4. To investigate the difference in transformation frequencies between BB120 and DS40M4, we used previously studied V. cholerae competence genes to inform a comparative genomics analysis coupled with transcriptomics. BB120 encodes homologs of all known competence genes, but mo...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Transformation, Genetic
Vibrio cholerae
Regulation of Biological Process
Recombination, Genetic
Comparative Genomic Analysis
QseA protein, E coli
Vibrio campbellii

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