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J Bacteriol. Oct 1996; 178(20): 6087–6090.
PMCID: PMC178474

Competence for genetic transformation in encapsulated strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae: two allelic variants of the peptide pheromone.


The nucleotide sequence of comC, the gene encoding the 17-residue competence-stimulating peptide (CSP) of Streptococcus pneumoniae (L. S. Havarstein, G. Coomaraswamy, and D. A. Morrison, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 92:11140-11144, 1995) was determined with 42 encapsulated strains of different serotypes. A new allele, comC2, was found in 13 strains, including the type 3 Avery strain, A66, while all others carried a gene (now termed comC1) identical to that originally described for strain Rx1. The predicted mature product of comC2 is also a heptadecapeptide but differs from that of comC1 at eight residues. Both CSP-1 and CSP-2 synthetic peptides were used to induce competence in the 42 strains; 48% of the strains became competent after the addition of the synthetic peptide, whereas none were transformable without the added peptides.

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Selected References

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