bio16

Biology, 6th Edition

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Greg Steinberg AP Biology Chapter 16 The Molecular Basis of Inheritance A. DNA as the Genetic Material a. The hunt for DNA i. When Morgan discovered that chromosomes held the code for genes, scientists did not know whether it was DNA or proteins that were responsible for them. ii. Studying smaller organisms like viruses and bacteria were a lot easier than more complex organisms. b. DNA can alter Bacteria i. Frederick Griffith first discovered that DNA can alter the way a bacterium behaves. He had two strains of streptococcus pnuemoniae, one that was pathogenic, and one that was harmless. ii. When he killed and mixed the remains of the pathogenic strain with the harmless strain, the harmless strain sometimes became pathogenic. iii. A chemical component of the pathogenic strain infected the harmless strain to cause this. Griffith called this transformation. iv. For 14 years, scientists searched for the chemical that was responsible for the transformation. v. In 1944, Avery and colleagues discovered that the chemical responsible for transformation was DNA. c. Viral DNA can program cells i. A virus is a strand of RNA or DNA that is protected in a protein. In order to reproduce the virus must infect a cell. ii. A virus that affects bacteria is known as a bacteriophage or phage.
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