Microcheck 133

Bacterial genes from a donor can be transferred to recipient bacteria following the incorporation of bacterial genes in place of phage genes in the virion. After the phage lyse the donor bacteria and infect the recipient cells, the bacterial genes are integrated into the chromosome of the recipient cell, the process of transduction. There are two types of transduction: generalized, in which any gene of the host can be transferred; and specialized, in which only the gene near the site at which the phage DNA integrates into the host chromosome can be transferred. The latter process is carried out only by temperate phages.

■ What is meant by a defective phage?

■ Most temperate phages integrate into the host chromosome, whereas some replicate as plasmids. Which kind of relationship would you think would be more likely to maintain the phage in the host cell? Why?

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