Abstract

The human pathogen Vibrio cholerae serves as a model organism for many important processes ranging from pathogenesis to natural transformation, which has been extensively studied in this bacterium. Previous work has deciphered important regulatory circuits involved in natural competence induction as well as mechanistic details related to its DNA acquisition and uptake potential. However, since competence was first reported for V. cholerae in 2005, many researchers have struggled with reproducibility in certain strains. In this study, we therefore compare prominent 7th pandemic V. cholerae isolates, namely strains A1552, N16961, C6706, C6709, E7946, P27459, and the close relative MO10, for their natural transformability and decipher underlying defects that mask the high degree of competence conservation. Through a combination of experimental approaches and comparative genomics based on new whole-genome sequences and de novo assemblies, we identify several strain-specific defects, mostly in genes that encode key players in quorum sensing. Moreover, we provide evidence that most of these deficiencies might have recently occurred through laboratory domestication events or through the acquisition of mobile genetic elements. Lastly, we highlight that differing experimental approaches between research groups might explain more of the variations than strain-specific alterations.

Details

Actions