Horizontal Gene Transfer

I find it very interesting how quickly microbes are able to develop resistance to antibacterial medication as well as certain types of virus. One of the ways that this is achieved is horizontal gene transfer. I showed this here by showing bacterial conjugation. In the first picture, the resistant bacteria have DNA that is colored orange, while the non-resistant bacteria’s DNA is blue. The viruses are unable to attack the resistant bacteria while they are able to attack and multiply from the non-resistant bacteria.

In the second picture, the resistant bacteria is transferring a resistant plasmid through the conjugation pilus to a non-resistant bacteria. After the new DNA is then incorporated  into the non-resistant bacteria’s DNA through homologous recombination. The third picture shows that after the population becomes resistant to the virus, the virus cannot harm the population anymore.

Here is a link to a study done that shows that bacteria have the ability  to become resistant to viruses given the correct conditions and mutations.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1209226/pdf/491.pdf

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.