Caister Academic Press

The Natural Transformation System of Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1: A Unique DNA Transport Machinery

Beate Averhoff and Iris Graf
from: Acinetobacter Molecular Biology (Edited by: Ulrike Gerischer). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2008)


Natural transformation is a powerful mechanism for generating genetic diversity, evolution of metabolic traits, spreading advantageous alleles and mediating some forms of antigenic variation. Despite the importance of natural transformation the mechanism of uptake of free DNA still remains an obstacle. Natural transformation requires recipient cells in a genetically programmed physiological state known as competence. Acinetobacter sp. strain ADP1, a derivative of the nutritionally versatile soil isolate Acinetobacter sp. BD4, is known for its extraordinary high competence and has become a model strain for investigations of natural transformation systems. Recently, strain ADP1 has been recognized as member of the novel species A. baylyi. Interestingly all members of this species share high competence for natural transformation. The highly efficient natural transformation system of strain ADP1 has forwarded many genetic and physiological studies which gave insights into its nutritional versatility. Moreover, the extraordinary competence and the ease to undergo natural transformation made strain ADP1 a model strain for investigations of natural transformation machineries. Gene transfer studies under environmental conditions and studies on the physiology, bioenergetics, and molecular properties of the ADP1 DNA translocator have forwarded the understanding of the impact of natural transformation on horizontal gene transfer and on structure and function of DNA translocators read more ...
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