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In a process called transformation    , the cell takes in DNA found in its environment that is shed by other prokaryotes, alive or dead. A pathogen    is an organism that causes a disease. If a nonpathogenic bacterium takes up DNA from a pathogen and incorporates the new DNA in its own chromosome, it too may become pathogenic. In transduction    , bacteriophages, the viruses that infect bacteria, move DNA from one bacterium to another. Archaea have a different set of viruses that infect them and translocate genetic material from one individual to another. During conjugation    , DNA is transferred from one prokaryote to another by means of a pilus that brings the organisms into contact with one another. The DNA transferred is usually a plasmid, but parts of the chromosome can also be moved.

Cycles of binary fission can be very rapid, on the order of minutes for some species. This short generation time coupled with mechanisms of genetic recombination result in the rapid evolution of prokaryotes, allowing them to respond to environmental changes (such as the introduction of an antibiotic) very quickly.

How prokaryotes obtain energy and carbon

Prokaryotes are metabolically diverse organisms. Prokaryotes fill many niches on Earth, including being involved in nutrient cycles such as the nitrogen and carbon cycles, decomposing dead organisms, and growing and multiplying inside living organisms, including humans. Different prokaryotes can use different sources of energy to assemble macromolecules from smaller molecules. Phototrophs obtain their energy from sunlight. Chemotrophs obtain their energy from chemical compounds.

Bacterial diseases in humans

Devastating pathogen-borne diseases and plagues, both viral and bacterial in nature, have affected and continue to affect humans. It is worth noting that all pathogenic prokaryotes are Bacteria; there are no known pathogenic Archaea in humans or any other organism. Pathogenic organisms evolved alongside humans. In the past, the true cause of these diseases was not understood, and some cultures thought that diseases were a spiritual punishment or were mistaken about material causes. Over time, people came to realize that staying apart from afflicted persons, improving sanitation, and properly disposing of the corpses and personal belongings of victims of illness reduced their own chances of getting sick.

Historical perspective

There are records of infectious diseases as far back as 3,000 B.C. A number of significant pandemics caused by Bacteria have been documented over several hundred years. Some of the largest pandemics led to the decline of cities and cultures. Many were zoonoses that appeared with the domestication of animals, as in the case of tuberculosis. A zoonosis is a disease that infects animals but can be transmitted from animals to humans.

Infectious diseases remain among the leading causes of death worldwide. Their impact is less significant in many developed countries, but they are important determiners of mortality in developing countries. The development of antibiotics did much to lessen the mortality rates from bacterial infections, but access to antibiotics is not universal, and the overuse of antibiotics has led to the development of resistant strains of bacteria. Public sanitation efforts that dispose of sewage and provide clean drinking water have done as much or more than medical advances to prevent deaths caused by bacterial infections.

Questions & Answers

what is osmosis
Aon Reply
movement of water molecule from higher to lower concentration through a semipereable membrene.
Dr
what of in the case of solute
Aon
osmosis is the movement of molecules from higher concentration region to lower concentration region through semi-permeable membrane.
Broad
in case of solute means that water moves from the region with lower solutes to the region with higher solute. so it is vice versa to water.
Broad
what are the hydrophilic and hydrophobic region of the plasma membrane?
Samuel Reply
hydrophilic in other word it called water loving and hydrophobic region other word is region that does not contact with water in the plasma membrane.
Broad
recognizing living things
Emmanuel Reply
Species A has 12 pairs of chromosomes and Species B has 11 pairs of chromosomes. Explain what occurs during mitosis and during meiosis in the hybrid that allows normal development and growth from zygote to adult, but causes the adults to be sterile.
Christina Reply
what is the origin of angiosperms?
Broad
unknown group of gymnosperms of triassic period.
Aditi
ouky but what about the concept of monophyletic and polyphyletic? where angiosperms is between that two concept?
Broad
Why does water move through a membrane?
Christina Reply
How many bones are in the human skeleton
Treasure Reply
203
Oyeleke
procce of digestion of proteins a long human alimentarycanal
Carson Reply
what are the properties of lipids?
Isiah Reply
They are: Fatty acids, fats, oils, waxes, phospholipid, glycolipids, steroids and some vitamins
Rachel
explain why a fresh water fish excrete ammonia
Leonard Reply
plz answer my question
Leonard
sorry i meant it has a nucleous unlike plant cells lol
Lailah
Ammonia is the end product of protein catabolism and is stored in the body of the fish in high concentrations relative to basal excretion rates. Ammonia, if allowed to accumulate, is toxic and is converted to less toxic compounds or excreted
Rachel
What are eukaryotic cells?
Nwosueke Reply
cell with no nucleous so not a plant cell
Lailah
eukaryotic cells are membrane bound organelles that have a membrane bound nucleus
ojeen
where does the cell get energy for active transport processes?
A'Kaysion Reply
IDK maybe glucose
Lailah
what is synapsis
Adepoju Reply
ability of homology genome to pair
Broad
how many turns are required to make a molecule of sucrose in Calvin cycle
Amina Reply
why Calvin cycle occurs in stroma
Amina
why do humans enhale oxygen and exhale carbondioxide?
Maryam Reply
why do humans enhale oxygen and exhale carbondioxide? For the purpose of breaking down the food
dil
what is allele
uzoka Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Concepts of biology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 29, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11487/1.9
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