Artificial Competence

Although not all bacteria become naturally competent, double-stranded DNA can be introduced into most cells including bacteria, animals, and plants through a special treatment of the recipient cells. In one technique called electroporation, bacteria and DNA are mixed together and the mixture is subjected to an electric current (figure 8.15). The current apparently makes holes in the bacterial cell wall and cytoplasmic membrane through which the DNA enters. Once inside the cytoplasm, the DNA becomes integrated into the recipient chromosome by homologous recombination, presumably by the same mechanism as was described for DNA transformation.

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