Genetic Transformation

  • Edward A. Birge
Part of the Springer Series in Microbiology book series (SSMIC)


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.


Competent Cell Recipient Cell Neisseria Gonorrhoeae Linear Plasmid Helper Phage 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward A. Birge
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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