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Home »  Biology »  Genetics

Bacterial and Viral Genome

Topic Review on "Title":

Genetic analysis in bacteria and viruses are different than that in eukaryotes because bacteria and viruses have special genome organization, therefore different techniques and methods are used to analyze their genes and mutations.  Because bacteria and viruses grow rapidly and make their DNA rapidly, they are often used as host cells or vectors in recombinant DNA technology.  Study on bacterial and viral genetic system provides us insightful information about both of their pathology and their application in research and therapy. 

Bacterial genetic material
Bacterial genetic material usually contains two parts: the bacterial chromosome and small circular double strand plasmid.  The bacterial chromosome is one big loop attached to cell wall, also a circular molecule.  It has one replication origin, and the replication follows semiconservative pattern.  The plasmid has its own replication origin and the replication of plasmids is independent of the replication of chromosome. 

Genetic analysis in bacteria
There are three ways of transfer genetic materials between bacteria: conjugation, transformation and transduction.  Conjugation is the process of two bacteria close to each other and exchange genetic material; transformation is the process that bacteria pick up DNA from its surrounding environment.  Transduction means the bacteria is infected by virus (phage) and gain genetic material there. 

This can be done because of a plasmid in bacteria called F factor.  F+ cells contain F factor and act as donors, while F- cells are recipients.  During conjugation, F plasmid copies itself and gives a copy to the recipient, resulting in two F+ cells.  When F plasmid is integrated into bacterial genome, they are called Hfr cells, which are also donors.  Conjugation of an Hfr cell and an F- cell results in one original Hfr cell and one F- cell which may contain new DNA material from Hfr cell.  This is the base of bacterial genetic analysis in early days.

Genetic analysis in bacteria
When Hfr cells are conjugated with F- cells, the genetic material are transferred in a specific orientation.  This enables us to determine the gene order and recombination frequency in a group of genes, which is, indeed, the genetic mapping in bacteria.  Genetic mapping can also be done via bacterial phage. 

Bacterial Phage and viral genetics
Bacterial phage has two life cycles: lytic cycle and lysogeny cycle.  During lytic cycle, the phage particles infect bacterial cells and lyse the cells, releasing more copies of infectious particles.  During lysogeny cycle, the phage genome is integrated into bacterial chromosome and remains there, replicated and passed along with the bacterial genome.  The lysogeny cycle can be induced into a lytic cycle.   Mapping of phage genes is similar to the mapping of bacterial genes. 

Animal virus
Animal viruses are similar to phages in almost all aspects, there are more versatile, having more complexed genome composition, and mutate very fast. 

Rapid Study Kit for "Title":
Flash Movie Flash Game Flash Card
Core Concept Tutorial Problem Solving Drill Review Cheat Sheet

"Title" Tutorial Summary :
Bacteria and viruses have unique genome organization and therefore they use different method for genetic mapping and gene analysis.  In bacterial conjugation, transformation and transduction are used for genetic material transfer, also used for genetic mapping.  In phase, two-point or three point testcross can be done to map genes and measure their recombination frequencies.  Animal viruses are more complexed than bacterial phages but in may ways they are similar.  Animal virus can have different types of genetic interactions.

Tutorial Features:
  • Internal concept map pointing out links among bacteria and virus genetic systems.
  • Simplified drawing of bacterial genetic material
  • Diagrams on detailed conjugation and transformation process
  • Chart summary on conjugation results
  • Detailed phage mapping techniques
  • A concise summary on animal virus.

"Title" Topic List:


  • Bacterial types
  • Bacterial structure
  • Bacterial genetic material
  • Bacterial chromosome and plasmid DNA replication

Genetic analysis in bacteria

  • overview
  • F factor and conjugation
  • Transformation
  • Transduction

Bacterial phage mapping

  • Life cycle of bacterial phage
  • Mapping of phage genes
  • Three-point cross

Animal virus

  • Complex genome
  • Cause of viral mutaitons
  • Genetic interactions

See all 24 lessons in Genetics, including concept tutorials, problem drills and cheat sheets:
Teach Yourself Genetics Visually in 24 Hours

Home »  Biology »  Genetics
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