Transduction


Transduction is the process by which DNA is transferred from one bacterium to another by a virus. It also refers to the process whereby foreign DNA is introduced into another cell via a viral vector. This is a common tool used by molecular biologists to stably introduce a foreign gene into a host cell's genome.

When bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria) infect a bacterial cell, their normal mode of reproduction is to harness the replicational, transcriptional, and translation machinery of the host bacterial cell to make numerous virions, or complete viral particles, including the viral DNA or RNA and the protein coat. Transduction and specialized transduction is especially important because they explain how anti-biotic drugs become ineffective due to the transfer of resistant genes between bacteria.


The packaging of bacteriophage DNA has low fidelity and small pieces of bacterial DNA, together with the bacteriophage genome, may become packaged into the bacteriophage genome. At the same time, some phage genes are left behind in the bacterial chromosome. There are generally three types of recombination events that can lead to this incorporation of bacterial DNA into the viral DNA.

Upon lysis of the host cell, the mispackaged virions containing bacterial DNA can attach to other bacterial cells and inject the DNA they have packaged, thus transferring bacterial DNA from one cell to another. This DNA can become part of the new bacterium's genome and thus be stably inherited.

Source from: Wikipedia

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