Conjugation occurs when one bacterial cell (the donor cell) transfers DNA to another bacterial cell (the recipient cell).
- One cell produces a thin projection that meets another cell.
This forms a thin conjugation tube between the two cells.
- The donor cell replicates one of its plasmids
- The circular DNA is broken to make it linear before it passes along the tube into the recipient cell, where it becomes linear again.
Horizontal gene transmission
Conjugation can also be known as horizontal gene transmission. Remember that this process only occurs between members of different bacterial species.
Vertical gene transmission
Where genes are passed down from one generation of a species to the next generation of the same species is called Vertical gene transmission.