Bacterial Conjugation - Bacterial Conjugation Bacterial...

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Bacterial Conjugation Bacterial conjugation is defined as the method requiring direct cellular contact between donor and recipient cell. Conjugation was discovered by Lederberg and Tatum in an experiment involving the transfer of genes between auxotrophic strains. However, it was Bernard Davis using a U-tube to demonstrate that direct contact was required. Davis’ U-tube contained a filter between two varieties of cells, this impeded direct contact. No prototrophic strains appeared until the filter was removed. DNA transfer by bacterial conjugation is polar (unidirectional) and has a donor and a recipient. Phenotypically, the donor is consider male and the recipient considered female. The process of bacterial conjugation is dependent on plasmids. F factors must be present and some R factors may be present. F factors code for the sex pili and the transfer process. The F plasmid is approximately one hundred thousand base pairs, while the bacterial chromosome contains about five million base pairs. Roughly one-third of the genes on the
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