Introduction to Genetic Analysis 166

Introduction to Genetic Analysis 166 - 165 5.2 Bacterial...

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Unformatted text preview: 165 5.2 Bacterial conjugation tant to many of these drugs, including penicillin, tetracy- cline, sulfanilamide, streptomycin, and . This resistance to multiple drugs was inherited as a single genetic package, and it could be transmitted in an infec- tious mannernot only to other sensitive Shigella strains, but also to other related species of bacteria. This talent, which resembles the mobility of the E. coli F plasmid, is an extraordinarily useful one for the pathogenic bac- terium because resistance can rapidly spread through a population. However, its implications for medical science are dire because the bacterial disease suddenly becomes resistant to treatment by a large range of drugs. From the point of view of the geneticist, however, the mechanism has proved interesting, and useful in genetic engineering. The vectors carrying these multiple resis- tances proved to be another group of plasmids called R plasmids. They are transferred rapidly on cell conjugation, much like the F plasmid in...
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