Chitin, Cholera, and Competence

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Science  16 Dec 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5755, pp. 1775-1777
DOI: 10.1126/science.1122396

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Vibrio cholerae, a human pathogen, inhabits aquatic environments and is often associated with chitin-containing organisms. In their Perspective, Bartlett and Azam discuss the findings of Meibom et al. in the same issue of chitin-mediated natural DNA transformation in V. cholerae. This finding opens a new window for understanding conditions that influence the evolution of this bacterium in aquatic habitats.