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Competence for Natural Genetic Transformation in the Streptococcus bovis Group Streptococci S. infantarius and S. macedonicus

Abstract : Natural genetic transformation is common among many species of the genus Streptococcus, but it has never, or rarely, been reported for the Streptococcus pyogenes and S. bovis groups of species, even though many streptococcal competence genes and the competence regulators SigX, ComR, and ComS are well conserved in both groups. To explore the incidence of competence in the S. bovis group, 25 isolates of S. infantarius and S. macedonicus were surveyed by employing culture in chemically defined media devoid of peptide nutrients and treatment with synthetic candidate pheromone peptides predicted from the sequence of the gene comS. Approximately half of strains examined were transformable, many transforming at high rates comparable to those for the well-characterized streptococcal natural transformation systems. In S. infantarius, nanomolar amounts of the synthetic pheromone LTAWWGL induced robust but transient competence in high-density cultures, but mutation of the ComRS locus abolished transformation. We conclude that at least these two species of the S. bovis group retain a robust system of natural transformation regulated by a ComRS pheromone circuit and the alternative sigma factor SigX and infer that transformation is even more common among the streptococci than has been recognized. The tools presented here will facilitate targeted genetic manipulation in this group of streptococci.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01001520
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 3:43:47 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 2:38:10 PM

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Donald A. D. A. Morrison, Eric Guédon, Pierre P. Renault. Competence for Natural Genetic Transformation in the Streptococcus bovis Group Streptococci S. infantarius and S. macedonicus. Journal of Bacteriology, American Society for Microbiology, 2013, 195 (11), pp.2612 - 2620. ⟨10.1128/JB.00230-13⟩. ⟨hal-01001520⟩

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