Transformation-deficient mutants of Bacillus subtilis impaired in competence-specific nuclease activities

J. A. Mulder*, G. Venema

*Corresponding author for this work

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    A comparison of the nucleolytic activities in competent and physiologically low-competent wild-type cultures of Bacillus subtilis in DNA-containing sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels revealed the existence of three competence-associated nuclease activities with apparent molecular weights of 13,000, 15,000, and 26,000. The three activities, which were dependent on manganese or magnesium ions, were specifically present in the competent fraction of a competent culture. The competence-associated nucleolytic activities of eight transformation-defective mutant strains were assayed, resulting in the following three classes of mutants: (i) four strains which, according to this assay, were not impaired in any of the nucleolytic activities mentioned above; (ii) one strain which was strongly impaired in the 13,000- and 26,000-molecular-weight activities, but showed a considerable level of the 15,000-molecular-weight activity; and (iii) three strains which were severely impaired in all three activities. The results indicated that the 26,000-molecular-weight activity was a dimer of the 13,000-molecular-weight activity and that this nuclease was involved in the entry of DNA.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)166-174
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Bacteriology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1982

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