Bacterial transformation


Bacterial transformation is the stable genetic modification of bacteria with foreign DNA. It is a routine procedure in molecular biology, most commonly practiced as the introduction of a DNA plasmid by electroporation.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Reviews |

    The evolutionary function of natural competence remains controversial and several hypotheses for a function have been proposed. In this Opinion article, Veening and Blokesch propose that kin-discriminated predation that is linked to natural competence serves as a DNA acquisition strategy and therefore contributes to bacterial evolution.

    • Jan-Willem Veening
    •  & Melanie Blokesch
  • Research |

    Alexander Pym, Ashlee Earl and colleagues use the whole-genome sequences from 498 strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to identify new genotypes conferring resistance to antitubercular drugs. They find that loss-of-function mutations in ald (Rv2780), encoding L-alanine dehydrogenase, are associated with unexplained drug resistance and demonstrate that these mutations confer resistance to D-cycloserine.

    • Christopher A Desjardins
    • , Keira A Cohen
    • , Vanisha Munsamy
    • , Thomas Abeel
    • , Kashmeel Maharaj
    • , Bruce J Walker
    • , Terrance P Shea
    • , Deepak V Almeida
    • , Abigail L Manson
    • , Alex Salazar
    • , Nesri Padayatchi
    • , Max R O'Donnell
    • , Koleka P Mlisana
    • , Jennifer Wortman
    • , Bruce W Birren
    • , Jacques Grosset
    • , Ashlee M Earl
    •  & Alexander S Pym
    Nature Genetics 48, 544–551
  • Research | | open

    Uptake and integration of exogenous DNA into the bacterial genome play an important role in the evolution of the pathogen Helicobacter pylori. Here, the authors describe a bimodal pattern of chromosomal integration and show how restriction-modification systems limit the import of heterologous DNA.

    • Sebastian Bubendorfer
    • , Juliane Krebes
    • , Ines Yang
    • , Elias Hage
    • , Thomas F. Schulz
    • , Christelle Bahlawane
    • , Xavier Didelot
    •  & Sebastian Suerbaum
  • Reviews |

    In this Review, Claverys and colleagues describe the divergent and common principles that govern the transformation process in phylogenetically distinct bacteria and discuss the potential role of imported DNA in generating genetic diversity. They also discuss how this information can be used for the prediction of new transformable species.

    • Calum Johnston
    • , Bernard Martin
    • , Gwennaele Fichant
    • , Patrice Polard
    •  & Jean-Pierre Claverys
  • Reviews |

    Here, Patrick Wilson and Sarah Andrews discuss the strategies that have been used to identify rare broadly neutralizing antibodies, focusing on the recent advances in isolating such antibodies naturally generated in response to HIV and influenza virus infection or vaccination.

    • Patrick C. Wilson
    •  & Sarah F. Andrews

News and Comment