Do All Bacteria Have Plasmids?

Yes, Plasmids naturally exist in all bacterial cells. 

Plasmids are a small, circular, double-stranded DNA molecule, which is naturally found in all Bacterial cells. These plasmids are separated from chromosomal DNA and have the capability to replicate independently. Every bacterial cell has its own plasmid, which is transferred during a process of conjugation. These plasmids have a great advantage to the bacterial cell as they deliver DNA containing identifiable antibiotic resistance gene sequences which would lead to the generation of antibiotic resistance determinants.

In certain cases, bacteria need to pick up a new plasmid from the environment, as they readily lose them during the antibiotic resistance and during the process of conjugation, as one of the daughter cells may not receive the plasmid.

Listed below are a few important functions of Plasmids in a bacterial cell.

  • Helps in their survival by producing toxins.
  • Facilitate the process of replication in bacteria.
  • Few plasmids contain genes that help in food digestion.
  • The R plasmids help a bacterial cell by defending against environmental factors such as antibiotics, poison, etc.

This was all about the Plasmids. Stay tuned with BYJU’S to know more in detail about the Plasmids, properties, and characteristics.

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