Integrated and Free State of Plasmids

  • J. Schell
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 3)


It is a well documented fact that many (if not all) bacteria have but one chromosome (one continuous DNA molecule) forming a single linkage group containing all of the essential genes of the cell. Recently however one has realized that many bacteria in fact contain one or more additional DNA structures usually carrying so called facultative genes that are only essential to the cell’s survival under particular circumstances (e.g. antibioticum resistance transfer factors) so that they can be gained or lost without lethal effect for the cell. Furthermore these “extrachromosomal” DNA molecules are usually significantly smaller than the chromosomal DNA.


Host Chromosome Extrachromosomal Element Single Linkage Group Transmissible Plasmid Multiple Drug Resistant Bacterium 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Schell
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratorium voor GenetikaGentBelgium

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