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Prokayotes, which replicate primarily using binary fission, don't get much genetic diversity. For this reason, they take in any genetic material they encounter, in a gambit to help them better adapt to their environment.

However, Eukaryotes, most plant or animal cells that contain a nuclei, have great diversity from crossing over during meiosis, not to mention genetic materials from two parents.

Due to other means of genetic diversity, it seems that eukaryotic cells wouldn't need to take in foreign DNA as prokaryotes do. But sometimes life has redundancy, so:

Do eukaryotes assimilate DNA that is floating in the extracellular membrane?

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    $\begingroup$ +1 Horizontal Gene Transfer occur in eukaryotes too, therefore it must be somehow possible for a piece of DNA to enter a eukaryotic cell and nucleus. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Mar 2 '16 at 17:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Remi.b while true, as of my understanding horizontal gene transfer between eukaryotic cells occur only by accident, not by a coded structure like en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sex_pilus $\endgroup$ – Gyro Gearloose Mar 2 '16 at 18:44
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    $\begingroup$ @GyroGearloose the transfer of DNA via sex-pilus occurs from one bacteria to another and not from the environment. Perhaps you mean type-IV pilus. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Mar 3 '16 at 8:58

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