Conjugative plasmid

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Conjugation is the process by which a section of DNA is tranferred from one living cell (the host) to a second living cell (the recipient). A plasmid is a small circular piece of DNA which is found free in the cytoplasm of bacteria cells. In most cases bacterial conjugation utilizes the sex pilus which is encoded for within the bacterium such as E. coli. The sex pilus makes the initial contact between the two bacteria cells, depolymerises, and in doing so, pulls the two bacteria cells into very close proximity of one another. Conjugation is usually regulated by the conjugation plasmid; an example of which is the F. plasmid in E. coli. F. plasmids can sometimes carry some bacterial genomic DNA which is called an F' (F Prime) plasmid[1]. Non-conjugative plasmids can be transferred during conjugation if they have specific mobilisation (mob) genes [2].

References

  1. Anthony J.F. Griffiths, Susan R. Wessler, Sean B. Carroll, John Doebley, (2012;177), Introduction to Genetic Analysis, 10th Edition, New York, W.H. Freeman, Palgrave, Macmillan
  2. Anthony J.F. Griffiths, Susan R. Wessler, Sean B. Carroll, John Doebley, (2012), Introduction to Genetic Analysis, 10th Edition, New York, W.H. Freeman, Palgrave, Macmillan

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