noun, plural: vectors
(1) (epidemiology) An organism or vehicle that transmits the causative agent or disease-causing organism from the reservoir to the host.
(2) (molecular biology) A vehicle (e.g. a plasmid) used to transfer the genetic material such as DNA sequences from the donor organism to the target cell of the recipient organism.
(3) (biology) A biotic agent that disperses reproductive structures of another organism, as a bee transmitting pollen to the stigma of a flower.
(4) (mathematics) A term describing something with both direction and magnitude.
In molecular biology, a vector may refer to a plasmid vector, a binary vector, a cloning vector, a shuttle vector, a viral vector, or an expression vector.
Word origin: Latin, from vehere, carrier.
Related form(s): vectorial (adjective)