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⁠⁠⁠⁠How are plasmids shared between bacteria?


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Solution

Plasmid transfer in bacteria :

  1. Plasmids are extrachromosomal material, specifically circular DNA strands, found in the cytoplasm of a cell and capable of self-replication.
  2. These plasmids serve as DNA delivery vectors.
  3. Prokaryotic plasmids play an important role in the formation of the bacterial genome and the metabolic activities of the host cell.

Following methods can be used in plasmid transfer:

Conjugation:

  1. Plasmids help with DNA transfer by allowing direct cell-to-cell contact.
  2. Conjugation is the process by which one bacterium directly transfers genetic material to another.
  3. During conjugation, one bacterium serves as the donor and the other as the recipient of the genetic material.
  4. Plasmids encode a mechanism to communicate the transfer from donor to recipient cell and are hence is unidirectional.
  5. Sex Pilus in gram-negative bacteria is a plasmid which attaches to the recipient and through a conjugal bridge transfers DNA.

Transduction:

  1. Transduction is the process of transfer of genetic material between two bacteria by the help of a bacteriophage.
  2. A bacteriophage is a type of virus that is used to transfer DNA from one bacterium to another (bacteria-infecting virus).

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