This chapter introduces the first major bacterial genetic transfer process to be discovered, genetic transformation. At first glance, the mechanism appears to be improbable. Large DNA fragments (as heavy as several million dal-tons) are released from donor cells and diffuse through the culture medium to recipient cells. The fragments 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. To emphasize this difference, in this book the bacterial process is always described as genetic transformation.
KeywordsBacillus Subtilis Genetic Transformation Competent Cell Recipient Cell Neisseria Gonorrhoeae
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