nester08 - Chapter 8 Bacterial Genetics Important Point...

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Chapter 8: Bacterial Genetics
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Important Point:
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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.”
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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.
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Mutation: Terms & Concepts 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.
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