Zubay, Geoffrey Sherman Fairchild Center for the Life Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, New York.
Last reviewed:May 2019
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- Characteristics of bacteria
- Genetic methodology
- Selection for bacterial mutants
- Selection for antibiotic-resistant cells
- Selection for cells with specific growth requirements
- Induced mutagenesis
- Gene mapping
- Expression of bacterial genes
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The study of gene structure and function in bacteria. Bacterial genetics is a scientific field concerned with the mechanisms of heredity in bacteria (Fig. 1). In general, genetics itself is concerned with determining the number, location, and character of the genes of an organism. The classical way to investigate genes is to mate two organisms with different genotypes and compare the observable properties (phenotypes) of the parents with those of the progeny. Bacteria, though, do not mate (in the usual way), so there is no way of getting all the chromosomes of two different bacteria into the same cell. However, there are a number of ways in which a part of the chromosome or genome from one bacterium can be inserted into another bacterium so that the outcome can be studied. See also: Bacteria; Bacterial physiology and metabolism; Bacteriology; Genetics
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