26 - Chapter 10; the grand finale' The wild wild times of...

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Chapter 10; the grand finale’ The wild wild times of bacteria in mixed company. The proclivity for promiscuity is not limited to sexual organisms. Bacteria can and often do have a form of sexual reproduction. This is NOT true sexual reproduction – No meiosis and no gametes (Sex cell) It is instead a transfer of DNA fragments or plasmids between two cells. Transformation is the absorption of DNA as in the dead mouse experiment. Transduction is phage mediated. This can only move small parts of a chromosome from one bacterium to the other. Conjugation is transfer through a conjugation bridge. A fusion of the two cells through DNA can be transferred. 1
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Be it by transduction, transformation or conjugation, only fragments of the donor chromosome are incorporated into the recipient chromosome. In the recipient, crossing over events similar to crossing over during meiosis occur. Transfer of plasmids. Plasmids are like small chromosomes - referred to as extrachromosomal DNA. The genes that are carried on plasmids typically code for proteins that provide an extra survivability trait. The bacterium can live without the plasmid. Examples of traits include 1. Resistance to antibiotics 2. Resistance to metals such as mercury 3. Enzymes that allow for using unusual polymers like oil or TNT to be used for carbon and energy production. 2
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course BIOS 101 taught by Professor Plantz during the Spring '08 term at UNL.

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26 - Chapter 10; the grand finale' The wild wild times of...

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