I've just learnt about bacterial conjugation and while it is interesting info about early sexual activity in microbes, one aspect confuses me and doesnt seem to be mentioned in the material I read:

How do the donor/recipient pairs find each other?

While cells in a culture all can have physical contact as they move about, either the F+ cell inserts pili into various cells looking for some chemical stimulus or physical contact with a F- cell provides some data that lets it know it has touched a cell with which it can now perform conjugation.

  • $\begingroup$ F+ cells have mechanisms in place that inhibit them from making contacting with other F+ cells, therefore, a F plasmid cannot be transferred from F+ to F+. Source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21351 $\endgroup$ – Kat Hebb Oct 11 '18 at 6:01

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