Gene Function pp 159-192 | Cite as


  • Robert E. Glass


Some cells harbour small extrachromosomal genetic elements in addition to, and distinct from, the bacterial genome (‘extrachromosomal’ is used in this context to indicate that these elements are present in the cytoplasm and are not covalently linked to the chromosome). The term plasmid has been employed to describe those extrachromosomal genetic elements that are stably inherited.1 Plasmids are distinct replicons — genetic units capable of replicating independently from the host chromosome — consisting of covalently-closed circular molecules of DNA. The replicated unit is ‘trapped’ within the daughter cell during septum formation, possibly through association with the cytoplasmic membrane (Section 6.1.2).


Genetic Element Chromosomal Marker Bacterial Chromosome Plasmid Replication Host Chromosome 
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The F Plasmid

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Vegetative Replication

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F Transfer

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A Guide to Naturally-Occurring Plasmids

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R Plasmids

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Col Plasmids

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Copyright information

© Robert E. Glass 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert E. Glass
    • 1
  1. 1.NottinghamUK

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