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Trends Biochem Sci. 1992 Jun;17(6):207-11.

Death and transfiguration among bacteria.

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1
Department of Biochemistry, University of Alabama, Birmingham 35294-0005.

Abstract

When bacteria are placed in sub-optimal environments, they can respond by increasing the frequency of mutants created by base substitution, frame-shift and transposition mutations. Also, during periods of restrictive growth, 'dead' bacterial cells may transfer genetic material to neighboring colony-forming cells. This can be beneficial, resulting in a heterogeneous population that may exhibit differentiation and even produce killer cells. These discoveries reveal several conundrums about the control of an organism over mutations and the supposed randomness of genetic variation.

PMID:
1323887
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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