Natural transformation in Gram‑negative bacteria thriving in extreme environments: from genes and genomes to proteins, structures and regulation

  • Extremophilic prokaryotes live under harsh environmental conditions which require far-reaching cellular adaptations. The acquisition of novel genetic information via natural transformation plays an important role in bacterial adaptation. This mode of DNA transfer permits the transfer of genetic information between microorganisms of distant evolutionary lineages and even between members of different domains. This phenomenon, known as horizontal gene transfer (HGT), significantly contributes to genome plasticity over evolutionary history and is a driving force for the spread of fitness-enhancing functions including virulence genes and antibiotic resistances. In particular, HGT has played an important role for adaptation of bacteria to extreme environments. Here, we present a survey of the natural transformation systems in bacteria that live under extreme conditions: the thermophile Thermus thermophilus and two desiccation-resistant members of the genus Acinetobacter such as Acinetobacter baylyi and Acinetobacter baumannii. The latter is an opportunistic pathogen and has become a world-wide threat in health-care institutions. We highlight conserved and unique features of the DNA transporter in Thermus and Acinetobacter and present tentative models of both systems. The structure and function of both DNA transporter are described and the mechanism of DNA uptake is discussed.
Author:Beate AverhoffORCiD, Lennart Kirchner, Katharina Pfefferle, Deniz Yaman
Parent Title (English):Extremophiles
Place of publication:Tokyo
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/09/20
Date of first Publication:2021/09/20
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2022/01/11
Tag:Acinetobacter; DNA uptake; Desiccation resistance; Thermophile; Thermus
Issue:online version before inclusion in an issue
Page Number:12
Early View: Online Version before inclusion in an issue.
Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0