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What other processes, found in bacteria, are similar to transduction? Transduction is the accidental transfer of bacterial DNA from one bacterial cell to another by means of a virus. Transduction is an example of lateral gene transfer. Other examples of lateral gene transfer include conjugation and transformation. In conjugation one bacterial cell directly transfers a plasmid to another bacterial cell. In transformation, DNA is taken up from the environment. All three mechanisms of lateral gene transfer are potentially important in evolution. Reproduction in bacteria is exclusively asexual, bacterial cells split in two to form two new cells (fission). Unlike sexual reproduction, fission does not result in new combinations of genes. Lateral gene transfer can insert different genes into bacteria resulting in new genetic combinations.

View the animation below, then complete the quiz to test your knowledge of the concept.

1A transducing phage contains _________.
A)no DNA
B)only viral DNA
C)host cell DNA
D)only mRNA

2In transduction, the DNA is being moved between the two cells by ______.
A)a third bacterial cell
B)a phage
D)all of the above

3Which of the following terms best describes a bacteria that has had its genotype changed by transduction?
A)recipient cell
B)recombinant cell
C)host cell
D)transducing phage

4The host cell DNA enters into the genome of the recipient cell by the process of recombination.

5In transduction, the recombinant cell will always have the same genotype as the original recipient cell.

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