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Author Topic: How do bacteria distribute their DNA?  (Read 3151 times)

Offline thedoc

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How do bacteria distribute their DNA?
« on: 05/10/2010 13:44:43 »
Scientists have shown that some bacteria assemble their own virus-like particles to spread their genetic "know how" throughout the microbiological community...

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« Last Edit: 05/10/2010 13:44:43 by _system »


 

SteveFish

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How do bacteria distribute their DNA?
« Reply #1 on: 10/10/2010 19:04:57 »
For bacteria, sex and procreation are separate activities.
 

Offline chris

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How do bacteria distribute their DNA?
« Reply #2 on: 10/10/2010 21:34:19 »
Hi Steve

that's an interesting point - can you elaborate on it please?

Chris
 

Offline Variola

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How do bacteria distribute their DNA?
« Reply #3 on: 10/10/2010 23:27:48 »
Having an appendage long enough to walk on would impress most men I think...

http://sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/64083/title/Bacteria_strut_their_stuff#video

Awww cute!


Good article though, I would be interested to know how stable GTA's are and what the genes responsible for GTA production and regulation are. Chris do you know much about GTA's?
 

SteveFish

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How do bacteria distribute their DNA?
« Reply #4 on: 11/10/2010 01:04:55 »
Chris:

That prokaryotes transfer DNA between individuals by viruses and plasmids is not new information. Further, there are recognized DNA sequences even in eukaryotes, including humans, that are obviously derived from viruses, but this is a very low probability event. We eukaryotes generally have sex to exchange DNA and this is coupled to reproduction by creating new individuals with a combination of the two parent gene sets.

Prokaryotes reproduce by cell division which produces two new individuals identical to the parent cell (unless there is a mutation). But, prokaryotes also exchange genetic information (have sex, e.g. by viruses/plasmids) and this process is independent of reproduction. This method would seem to be a bit haphazard, but when you can create a gazillion (technical term) offspring in a few days, efficiency is not very important.

Here is the scary part. Prokaryotes don't have to be the same species, like we eukaryotes, in order to exchange DNA. Agribusiness utilizes a variety of antibacterials that are applied prophylactically to improve meat/egg/milk production. This is just the right regimen for creating antibacterial resistant bacteria, and because bacteria of different species have sex, the bacterial resistance can be transferred to a bacteria that attacks many different eukaryote species, including humans. Are you wondering where all of the antibacterial tolerant nasties come from?

This fascinating topic is covered in many of the new cell and molecular biology courses that have been popping up at universities. You can also pick up an older (reduces cost) Alberts et.al., Molecular Biology of the Cell text to get more technical information (this is a graduate level text). And, I seem to recall from distant memory, that Lynn Margules wrote a popular book that covered this topic, among others. Possibly-- Margulis, Lynn and Dorian Sagan, 1997, What Is Sex?, Simon and Shuster, ISBN 0-684-82691-7.

Steve 
« Last Edit: 18/10/2010 17:53:10 by SteveFish »
 

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How do bacteria distribute their DNA?
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