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Help with bacterial genetics question

About microscopic forms of life, including Bacteria, Archea, protozoans, algae and fungi. Topics relating to viruses, viroids and prions also belong here.

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Help with bacterial genetics question

Postby klou » Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:17 pm

I'm a first year undergrad preparing for my summer exams. I've been looking at sample past papers. Here is one that I'm not sure about.

'Compare the processes of bacterial genetic exchange'

If the question were simply to describe Transformation, Transduction and Transformation, I'd be fine. But comparing them.. I'm a bits stumped. I'm assuming it means compare the similarities and differences, so I tried outlining those. All I can really think to write about is that all mechanisms can result in the exchange of new phenotypes e.g. novel drug resistance or metabolic capabilities, and describing the differences in how the DNA is transferred.

Any advice on how to approach this question?
klou
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Postby Jillo725 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 6:19 pm

Transformation - Advantages = taking up nucleotides from environment can be used as monomers for the cells own DNA replication. Integration can lead to new genes without the requirement of the ability to transfer DNA.
Disadvantage = cells had to die for DNA to be in the environment. so the genes taken up could not be advantageous

Conjugation - Advantages = cell is getting DNA from cell that is surviving within the correct environment for recipient cell. SO the DNA could be advantageous for survivial.
Disadvantages - requires that donor cell have the ability to conjugate (presence of F factor)

Transduction - Advantages - could receive DNA from an organism from an entirely different environment than the recipient cell is used to.
Disadvantages - could also get a viral infection. could be non-beneficial to the recipient.

There's my attempt! This is my first post, so go easy on me. I need to get back to studying Horticulture....but I'd rather be studying Micro =p good luck!
"There is no adequate defense, except stupidity, against the impact of a new idea."
— Percy Williams Bridgman, US physicist
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