Although competence normally develops only in glucose-minimal salts media, mecA and mecB mutations permit the expression of competence and of late competence genes in complex media as well (D. Dubnau and M. Roggiani. J. Bacteriol. 172:4048-4055, 1990). The expression of late competence genes is dependent on the products of the regulatory genes comA, comB, comP, sin, abrB, spo0H, and spo0A. We show here that this list must be extended to include degU, csh-293, and spo0K. mecA and -B mutations bypass most of these requirements, making the expression of late competence genes and of competence itself independent of all of these regulatory genes, with the exceptions of spo0A and spo0K (in the case of mecB). The expression of late competence genes in mec mutants that are deficient for each of the bypasses regulatory functions is still under growth stage-specific regulation. The implications of these findings are discussed, and a provisional scheme for the flow of information during the development of competence is proposed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology