Author response: Unbiased homeologous recombination during pneumococcal transformation allows for multiple chromosomal integration events [peer_review]

Jun Kurushima, Nathalie Campo, Renske van Raaphorst, Guillaume Cerckel, Patrice Polard, Jan-Willem Veening
2020 unpublished
The spread of antimicrobial resistance and vaccine escape in the human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae can be largely attributed to competence-induced transformation. Here, we studied this process at the single-cell level. We show that within isogenic populations, all cells become naturally competent and bind exogenous DNA. We find that transformation is highly efficient and that the chromosomal location of the integration site or whether the transformed gene is encoded on the leading or
more » ... the leading or lagging strand has limited influence on recombination efficiency. Indeed, we have observed multiple recombination events in single recipients in real-time. However, because of saturation and because a single-stranded donor DNA replaces the original allele, transformation efficiency has an upper threshold of approximately 50% of the population. The fixed mechanism of transformation results in a fail-safe strategy for the population as half of the population generally keeps an intact copy of the original genome. Kurushima et al. eLife 2020;9:e58771. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.58771 1 of 32 RESEARCH ARTICLE P
doi:10.7554/elife.58771.sa2 fatcat:scnheyeoazbpnk7gde6xdxlf6u