New Insights into How Bacteria Take up DNA during Transformation

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  • Department of Microbiology, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205

Haemophilus influenzae possesses an efficient natural transformation system. Under appropriate growth conditions, every cell in a culture acquires the competence to take up several molecules of DNA. Only donor DNAs from Haemophilus species are taken up; foreign DNAs are excluded. Specific recognition is achieved through the interaction of a receptor protein present on the recipient cell membrane with an 11 base pair sequence present at high frequency in the donor DNA.