Genetic information transmission

  • Jeffrey R. Sampson
Part of the Texts and Monographs in Computer Science book series (MCS)


In the last chapter we were primarily concerned with the role of genetic information in the day-to-day life of the cell. We noted in passing that mitosis transmits the cell’s entire complement of genetic information to the new generation of cells. In this chapter we examine more closely this transmission of genetic information to subsequent generations. We will touch both extremes of the time scale, from the replication of viruses and bacteria (a matter of minutes) to the evolution of new animal species (a matter of millenia). And we will discover that exact preservation of genetic information down through the generations is not always a good thing. New genes and new combinations of old genes may improve a species’ adaptation to its changing environment. Most of the genetic recombination mechanisms we will study have the introduction and maintenance of genetic variety as their primary function.


Homologous Chromosome Recombination Mechanism Bacterial Chromosome Tail Fiber Diploid Organism 
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  1. Darwin, Charles. The Origin of Species. Originally published 1859, available as a Mentor paperback, 1958.Google Scholar
  2. Dobzhansky, Theodosius. Genetics of the Evolutionary Process. Columbia University Press, 1970.Google Scholar
  3. Fisher, Ronald A. The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection. Dover, 1958 (second revised edition).Google Scholar
  4. Mayr, Ernst. Populations, Species, and Evolution. Harvard University Press, 1970. Google Scholar
  5. Mettler, Lawrence E., and Gregg, Thomas G. Population Genetics and Evolution. Prentice-Hall, 1969.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey R. Sampson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computing ScienceThe University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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