Bacteria exchange genes in a number of ways, including the uptake and incorporation of free DNA from their environment ('natural transformation').

The evolutionary benefit of gene exchange is still elusive, but many believe that it can help bacteria respond to changing environments.

Using an experimental evolution approach with the bacterium Acinetobacter baylyi, this project will test under what conditions natural transformation can help bacteria adapt faster to their environment.

Supervisor: Dr Jan Engelstaedter