nester08 - Important Point: In mutations, usually only a...

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1 Chapter 8: Bacterial Genetics Important Point: Bacterial Genetics ± “Acquiring genes through gene transfer provides new genetic information to microorganisms, which may allow them to survive changing environments.” ± “The major source of variation within a bacterial species is mutation.” ± “In mutations, usually only a single gene changes at any one time.” ± “In contrast, gene transfer results in many genes being transferred simultaneously, giving the recipient cell much more additional genetic information.” Bacterial Genetics Overview ± Most bacteria are haploid which means that there is no such thing as dominance-recessive relationships among bacterial alleles. ± Bacteria don’t have sex in the animal/plant sense of sex (i.e., mating followed by recombination of whole genomes). ± Instead, bacteria acquire DNA from other bacteria through three distinct mechanisms: ± Transformation ± Transduction ± Conjugation ± This DNA may or may not then recombine into the recipient’s genome. ± We use phrases like “Lateral” or “Horizontal” Gene Transfer to describe these sexual interactions. ± Bacterial DNA is also subject to mutation, damage (not the same thing as mutation), and natural selection. ± Wild Type refers to the microorganism as isolated from the wild. ± A mutated microorganism that has lost a metabolic function, particularly an ability to synthesize a specific growth factor, is called an Auxotroph. ± The wild-type parent to an auxotroph is called a Prototroph. ± A Mutation is found in a gene; a mutant is an
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nester08 - Important Point: In mutations, usually only a...

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