Transformation in bacteria is the uptake and incorporation of exogenous DNA into a cell's genome. Several species transform naturally during a regulated state defined as competence. Genetic elements in Streptococcus pneumoniae induced during transformation were identified by combining a genetic screen with genomic analysis. Six loci were discovered that composed a competence-induced regulon. These loci shared a consensus promoter sequence and encoded proteins, some of which were similar to proteins involved in DNA processing during transformation in other bacteria. Each locus was induced during competence and essential for genetic transformation.