Hotchkiss, Rollin D. Department of Genetics, Rockefeller University, New York, New York.
Zinder, Norton D. Department of Microbial Genetics, Rockefeller University, New York, New York.
Last reviewed:March 2018
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- Nature of transformation
- Nonbacterial transformation
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The addition of DNA to living bacterial cells, thereby changing their genetic composition and properties. Transformation (see illustration), a form of horizontal (lateral) gene transfer, is the process by which bacteria pick up naked deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from the surrounding environment. The process is looked on as the transfer of a transforming principle, or substance, from donor bacteria to suitable recipient bacteria. The recipient bacteria are usually closely related to the donor strain. The process may occur in natural conditions, for example, in a host animal infected with two parasitic strains, and indeed it might play a part in the rapid evolution of pathogenic bacteria. See also: Bacteria; Bacterial genetics; Bacterial physiology and metabolism; Bacteriology; Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA); Gene; Genetic exchange among bacteria; Genetics; Molecular biology; Recombination (genetics)
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