The Mating Phenomenon in Escherichia Coli

  • Mark Achtman
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 11)


Mating between Escherichia coli was first demonstrated in the 1940’s and somewhat defined during the 1950’s and early 1960’s (for review see 7). These results were obtained using primarily donor cells carrying the sex factor F (see below) and recipient cells not carrying it. Under laboratory conditions matings are performed by mixing actively growing donor and recipient cultures at 37° and allowing DNA transfer to occur for one to two hours. Early observations on mating mixtures led to the general concept, still accepted today, that mating consists of pairing between donor and recipient cells in a form sensitive to mild shear forces. The results presented here indicate that this concept is inadequate and a modified definition of mating will be presented below.


Donor Cell Aggregate Formation Large Aggregate Recipient Cell Coulter Counter 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Achtman
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare GenetikBerlinWest Germany

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