Caister Academic Press

Inter- and Intraspecies Transformation in the Neisseriae, Mechanism, Evolution and DNA Uptake Sequence Specificity

Ole Herman Ambur
from: Pathogenic Neisseria: Genomics, Molecular Biology and Disease Intervention (Edited by: John K. Davies and Charlene M. Kahler). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)


The evolution of the pathogenic neisseriae: Neisseria meningitidis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae, is closely linked to their ability to be transformed with extracellular DNA. A strong tradition of studying these organisms has documented that they exchange alleles with the commensal Neisseria, and that they also repeatedly utilize DNA from their own separate clonal lineages for this purpose. This chapter present studies that describe inter- and intraspecies transformation and discuss potential effects of a flexible gene pool. The molecular mechanism for transformation is highlighted, and the most important components and recent developments in this field are presented. Neisseria is one of very few bacterial genera to exhibit sequence specific transformation, and the mechanism and evolutionary implications of this is discussed. Also, the negative influence that restriction has on transformation and sexual isolation are described. Finally, a model is proposed that emphasizes the regenerative aspects of transformation read more ...
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