Plasmids

The F plasmid is only one example of a plasmid, an extrachromosomal piece of DNA that multiplies independently of the chromosome. Plasmids are very common in the microbial

Table 8.3 Comparison of Mechanisms of DNA Transfer

Mechanism

Main Features

Size of DNA Transferred

Polarity in Transfer?

Sensitivity to DNase addition

Transformation

Naked DNA transferred

About 20 genes

No

Yes

Transduction

DNA enclosed in a bacteriophage coat

Small fraction of the chromosome

No

No

Conjugation

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