Conjugation

Definition

noun, plural: conjugations

(biology)

(1) The process whereby two ciliates come together in a temporary fusion to exchange micronuclear material, then separate, each being a fertilized cell.

(2) A form of sexual reproduction in certain algae and fungi where a male gamete unites with a female gamete resulting in the union of their nuclei and the subsequent formation of a zygote.

(3) The temporary joining together of two bacterial cells to transfer genetic material via the plasmid (either as solitary or as part of a chromosome) from the donor cell to the recipient cell.

(chemistry)

(1) The joining together of two compounds resulting in the formation of another compound, such as the conjugation of a toxic compound with another compound in the body to detoxify and eliminate it.

(2) A system of delocalized orbitals consisting of alternating single bonds and multiple bonds.

(general) The act or state of joining together; union; conjunction.


Supplement

Bacterial conjugation is a beneficial process in bacteria since they can acquire a gene that confers survival or a novel characteristic which enables them to thrive in harmful conditions or to utilize a new metabolite. It is through this process that resistance to antibiotics can be transferred from one bacterial cell to another.


Word origin: From Latin coniugātiō (“‘combining, connecting; conjugation’”), from coniugō (“‘join, unite together’”), from con- (“‘with’”) + iugō (“‘join, bind, connect’”).
Related forms: conjugational (adjective)

Related terms:

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