Essay about Mechanisms of Sex in Escherichia coli

Essay about Mechanisms of Sex in Escherichia coli

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The discovery of the gene transfer mechanisms could be attributed by the work of Lederberg and Tatum back in 1946. Using Escherichia coli(E.coli) as their model, they proposed the genetic materia of E.coli could be exhanged via sexual process. In order to prove their hypothesis, they mutated 2 wild type E.coli strains(K12) using X-ray or ultra-violet radiation to produce Y-10 and Y-24 mutant strains. The former was auxotrophic to threonine, leucine and thiamin whereas the latter failed to produce biotin, phenylalanine and cystine[1]. These mutant could only survive in mininal media plates provided that the aforementioned amino acids are supplied accordingly to each mutant strains.

Further experimentation was conducted where they mixed those two mutant strains together and something bizarre was observed. They observed colony growth on the third minimal media plate where the E.coli present on that plate bahaved exactly like the wild type(K-12) prototroph strain. Since no colonies grew on the first two plates, it was deduced that the colonies on the third plate could not be the resu...

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