Prokaryotic Cell Structures, Functions & Diagrams - P3
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Internal Cell Parts
Genetic Material of Prokaryotes
- Nucleoid: The nucleoid is the region of the prokaryotic cytoplasm that contains the genome—the main genetic material (DNA) of the cell. Bacteria and Archaeans typically have a single, circular chromosome.
- Plasmids: In addition to the nucleoid (bacterial chromosome), bacteria may also contain one or more plasmids. A plasmid is a non-essential piece of DNA that confers an advantage to the bacteria, such as antibiotic resistance, virulence (the ability to cause disease) and conjugation (a bacterium’s ability to share its plasmids with other bacteria). Plasmids are also found in some eukaryotic microbes, such as yeasts.
Conjugation is a type of horizontal gene transfer that bacteria use to share plasmids with each other.
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