SUMMARY: Treatment of competent cells of with sodium periodate reduces markedly genetic transformation, at concentrations not significantly affecting cell viability. The action of periodate is not on DNA transforming activity. A reduction of transformation by this reagent is also obtained either if cells are treated before DNA addition or if they are first exposed to donor DNA for short time and then treated with periodate; if the cells have been pre-incubated with DNA for about 30 min. the subsequent addition of NaIO is without effect. The action of periodate seems to be exerted on the adsorbtion and/or entry of DNA into the competent cells. The site of action of periodate is probably a component(s) of the cell wall involved in these processes.


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