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.

  • 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 – Kat Hebb Oct 11 at 6:01

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.