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Learning objectives

  • Compare the processes of transformation, transduction, and conjugation
  • Explain how asexual gene transfer results in prokaryotic genetic diversity
  • Explain the structure and consequences for bacterial genetic diversity of transposons

Typically, when we consider genetic transfer, we think of vertical gene transfer , the transmission of genetic information from generation to generation. Vertical gene transfer is by far the main mode of transmission of genetic information in all cells. In sexually reproducing organisms, crossing-over events and independent assortment of individual chromosomes during meiosis contribute to genetic diversity in the population. Genetic diversity is also introduced during sexual reproduction , when the genetic information from two parents, each with different complements of genetic information, are combined, producing new combinations of parental genotypes in the diploid offspring. The occurrence of mutations also contributes to genetic diversity in a population. Genetic diversity of offspring is useful in changing or inconsistent environments and may be one reason for the evolutionary success of sexual reproduction.

When prokaryotes and eukaryotes reproduce asexually, they transfer a nearly identical copy of their genetic material to their offspring through vertical gene transfer. Although asexual reproduction produces more offspring more quickly, any benefits of diversity among those offspring are lost. How then do organisms whose dominant reproductive mode is asexual create genetic diversity? In prokaryotes, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) , the introduction of genetic material from one organism to another organism within the same generation, is an important way to introduce genetic diversity. HGT allows even distantly related species to share genes, influencing their phenotypes. It is thought that HGT is more prevalent in prokaryotes but that only a small fraction of the prokaryotic genome may be transferred by this type of transfer at any one time. As the phenomenon is investigated more thoroughly, it may be revealed to be even more common. Many scientists believe that HGT and mutation are significant sources of genetic variation, the raw material for the process of natural selection, in prokaryotes. Although HGT is more common among evolutionarily related organisms, it may occur between any two species that live together in a natural community.

HGT in prokaryotes is known to occur by the three primary mechanisms that are illustrated in [link] :

  1. Transformation: naked DNA is taken up from the environment
  2. Transduction: genes are transferred between cells in a virus (see The Viral Life Cycle )
  3. Conjugation: use of a hollow tube called a conjugation pilus to transfer genes between cells
a) Transformation is when DNA enters into a cell and is incorporated into the genome. B) transduction is when a virus injects DNA into a cell and this DNA is incorporated into the genome. C) Conjugation is when one bacterial cell copies its plasmid and sends that copy to another bacterial cell via a pilus (bridge of cytoplasm).
There are three prokaryote-specific mechanisms leading to horizontal gene transfer in prokaryotes. a) In transformation, the cell takes up DNA directly from the environment. The DNA may remain separate as a plasmid or be incorporated into the host genome. b) In transduction, a bacteriophage injects DNA that is a hybrid of viral DNA and DNA from a previously infected bacterial cell. c) In conjugation, DNA is transferred between cells through a cytoplasmic bridge after a conjugation pilus draws the two cells close enough to form the bridge.

Questions & Answers

what is haemaophilus influenzae
GALI Reply
what is the different between eubacteria and archaer bacteria
GALI
what the important of dna
Yunusa Reply
it act as hereditary material, coding for proteins and guide for life processes such as development reproduction etc
khan
liver is the largest organ of the body
maryam Reply
differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes
Taiwo Reply
Eukaryotic cells contain membrane-bound organelles, such as the nucleus, while prokaryotic cells do not.
Margo
hello
usman
margo calvi....its your simple difference
Sadiqur
likely objective questions
Naa
what is largest Organ in the body
Dr
Skin is the largest organ in the body
Yadav
heart is the largest organ of the body
usman
liver is the largest organ in the body
maryam
liver is the largest organ in the body
maryam
skin
Janet
skin
Elyas
bilharzia
Elyas
i need formation
Elyas
liver is the largest organ in the body
maryam
Skin is the largest
Amin
skin
Amin
give me the name of good microbiology books to download
Shahid Reply
thank u
Shahid
bacteriology encyclopedia
Mzafar
Who invented microbes?
manor Reply
Which year did Robert koch invented the microbes?
manor
Robert Koch
Matilda
Antony Van Leeuwenhoek invented microbes through a designed single lensed microscope.
Mohamed
what is microbiology
Nyoik Reply
microbiology is the study of micro organisms. this can be multicellular,unicellular & acellular
Janet
what is the difference between DNA/RNA
kanaaLka
DNA is a double stranded molecule while RNA is a single stranded molecule
Lovely
who is the inventor of microscope
Alberta
What are antibodies?
Happy Reply
they are immune cells that are released by immune system to fight strangers like microbes
Ahmed
a blood protien produce in response to an counteracting a specific antigen
Pooja
Why salmonella typhi is harmful protozoan?
Saily Reply
because make typhoid that is considered as a food born illness
Ahmed
Name any five modes of transmission.
Happy
what are the scientific names and common names of some microbes
Rich Reply
Staphylococcus aureus - staph Streptococcus pyogenes - strep Botulism - Clostridium botulinum Rocky Mountain spotted fever - Rickettsia rickettsii Diphtheria - Corynebacterium diphtheriae Gonorrhea - Neisseria gonorrhoeae
Tammy
what are the limitations of the Koch's postulate
Naa
how a microorganism growth.
Zubair Reply
Is foetus a parasite to his or her mother? if yes and if no ho
Mashauri Reply
y
Yusri
yes
Yashkin
yes
Zubair
yes it a parasite to the mother because it feeds on the mother for survival
Beatrice
yes
Redwan
no
Elasha
definition of a parasite: an organism that lives in or on an organism of ANOTHER species (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other's expense
Elasha
no because an organism can inky be a parasite if it causes harm to its HOST. And the fetus does not cause harm to its mother under normal conditions
aliyu
yes
Naa
what is biosensor in microbiology
Raja Reply
What are biosensor
Raja
what's are biosensor
Raja
what is microbiology defination
Rinku Reply
microbiology is the study of small or manuit organisms which cannot be seen with our nacked eyes unless with the aid of the microscope
Brandina
is the study of living organisms which are not directly visible to a direct eye but can only be seen under a microscope
Ipa
ok
Ipa
microbiology is the study of living organisms of microscopic size it is also the study of micro organisms with their form structure reproduction psychology metabolism and classification
Priyanka
ok
Aminu
Microbiology are the study of microorganisms either microscopic or sub microscopic creaters mainly unicellulars, multicellulars and subcellulars. Such as protozoa,bacteria and viruses.
Rana
it is the biological study of viruses, fungi, protozoa, bacteria which in collective name are called micro organisms, unlike microscopic organisms being invisible, that requires a magnifications with the help of a microscope.
Mohamed
is the branch of science that deals with the study of micro and microorganism and there life cicle
GALI
right...
Latif
what are the importances of Microbiology?
Erick Reply
don't know
SINGLE
we obtained the insulin from the bacteria. and some microorganisms are decomposer in ecosystems.
Zubair
nitrogen in the air is fixed into the soil by microbes example is nitrobactor
Matilda
yes
Zubair
Practice MCQ 4

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Source:  OpenStax, Microbiology. OpenStax CNX. Nov 01, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12087/1.4
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