This chapter introduces the first major bacterial genetic exchange process to be discovered, genetic transformation. At first glance, the mechanism appears to be improbable. Large DNA fragments (as heavy as several million daltons) are released from donor cells and diffuse through the culture medium to recipient cells. The molecules are then transported across the cell wall and cell membrane into the cytoplasm where recombination occurs. The process is distinct from another biologic phenomenon also denoted transformation, the conversion of normal mammalian cells into tumor cells. In order to emphasize this difference, in this book the bacterial process is always described as genetic transformation.
KeywordsCompetent Cell Recipient Cell Neisseria Gonorrhoeae Linear Plasmid Helper Phage
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- Te Riele, H.P.J., Venema, G. (1984). Molecular fate of heterologous bacterial DNA in competent Bacillus subtilis: further characterization of unstable association between donor and recipient DNA and the involvement of the cellular membrane. Molecular and General Genetics 195: 200–208.Google Scholar