To be competent or not: an inquiry into the molecular basis of bacterial differentiation

Wiep Klaas Smits

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

1819 Downloads (Pure)


The Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis demonstrates a remarkable ability to differentiate into different cell types. One of these differentiation processes is competence for natural transformation: the ability to take up DNA from the environment and stably integrate it into the genome. Although all cells in a B. subtilis culture are genetically identical, only a subpopulation of cells develops competence. The process is governed by the key transcriptional regulator ComK. In this dissertation the molecular mechanisms responsible for the separation into subpopulations, the regulatory inputs for ComK and the relation between competence and other differentiation process are addressed.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
  • Driessen, Arnold, Supervisor
Print ISBNs9789036730310, 9789036730327
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Proefschriften (vorm)
  • Bacteriën, Differentiatie (biologie)
  • bacteriologie (biologie)

Cite this