Bacterial genetics
DNA molecule structure, base arrangements: double helix strands; composed of many neucleotides; A & G are purine; C & T are pyrimidine Plasmids



Structure : small circular DNA molecule that can exist independently of host chromosome. They have their own replication origins, carry fewer genes compared to DNA. types of plasmids and importance : 6 different types.

1. (a)meaning : an inherited change in
the base sequence of the genome of an organism 2. (b)replica plating : a technique used to detect auxotrophic* mutants. 3. (c)types of mutation

(i)molecular types of mutations- base pair(point mutation): affects only one base pair in a given location. Transition : replacement of a pyrimidine on one strand by a different pyrimidine/ replacement of a purine on one strand by a different purine. Transversion : purine replace pyrimidine vice versa. silent mutation : do not alter phenotype of organism and go undetected. More than one codon for a given amino acid. ‘wobble” – variability in the 3rd base position.

Missense mutation : involves a single base substitution in the DNA that changes a codon for one a.a. into a codon for another. Expressed at the level of protein structure
 however at the level of protein function, the effect may

range from complete loss of activity to no change at all.

Many proteins are still functional after substitution of a single a.a. but depends on the type and location of the a.a.

Eg. 1. – replacement of a nonpolar with polar a.a.- drastic change Eg 2. – replacement of a critical a.a. at the active site will destroy its activity Eg. 3 – replacement of one polar with another polar a.a., may have little/ no effect.

Missense mutation  provides evolution  often non-lethal/remain in the pool.  (ii)frameshifts mutation: causes a change in he 3 base sequences read as codons; a change in the phase of transcription arising from the addition and deletion of nucelotides makes reading frame to be shifted for all codons downstream. Often very deleterious and yield mutants phenotypes. (iii)conditional lethal mutations: expressed only under certain environment conditions. Eg: E. coli - cannot grow under one condition but can under another. T sensitive, does not express at low T, die at high T, grow normally at a permissible T.

chemically caused mutations: induced mutations: mutagen that directly damages DNA/interferes with repair mechanism.

Intercalating agents : acridines such as proflavin &
acridine orange. These mutagens become inserted between two DNA base pairs, thereby pushing them apart. Thery induce frameshift mutations.. These mutagens are planar and insert themselves between the stacked bases of the helix.

5-bromouracil : base analogs – similar to

nitrogenous bases and can be incorporated into the growing polynucleotide chain during replication. These analogs have slightly altered copying error properties. 5 –bromouracil is incorporated into DNA in place of thymine but often pairs with G.

nitrous acid : converts the base A to a form
that no longer pairs with T but instead pairs with C. Eventually, AT base pair of the parent will change to GC base pair in a grand daughter cell. Therefore it is a point mutation. alkylating agent : methyl-nitrosoguanidine - adds methyl groups to G, causing it to mispair with T

physical causes of mutations

UV: formation of thymine dimers. Most mutagenic

component of UV; WL = 260 nm. Formation of covalent bonds between adjacent T in a DNA forming dimers. DNA repair mechanism: excision repair : general repair system that corrects damage that causes distortion in the double helix. Enzyme that cuts out the damage DNA is called Uvr protein (endonuclease) photoreactivation repair : repair of T dimers by splitting them apart into separate T with the help of visible light in a photochemical reaction catalyzed by the enzyme PRE (photoreactivation enzyme). Can function in the dark but PRE must absorb a light photon.

Transformation in bacteria:
Genes are transferred from one bacterium to another as DNA In nature, some bacteria after death and cell lysis, release their DNA into the environment and other bacteria depending on species, growth conditions take up fragments of DNA integrate them into their own chromosomes by recombination that results in hybrid.

Conjugation in bacteria
1. requires direct cell to cell contact 2. cells must be of opposite mating type,
donor cells carry plasmid, recipient cells do not 3. sex pili needed

Transduction in bacteria:
bacterial DNA is transferred from a donor cell to a recipient cell inside a virus that infects bacteria, bacteriophage

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