Bacterial Transduction- Definition, Principle, Steps, Examples


Transduction is a process of genetic recombination in bacteria in which genes from a donor cell are incorporated into the genome of a recipient cell via a virus particle. The virus particle that infects bacteria is called a bacteriophage or phage, and the phages used for the transfer of DNA are called transducing phages. Not all phages are transducing phages.

Transduction is one of the three mechanisms of horizontal gene transfer in bacteria, along with transformation and conjugation. Horizontal gene transfer allows bacteria to acquire new genetic traits from other bacteria or the environment, which can be beneficial for survival. For example, transduction can transfer antibiotic resistance genes or virulence factors between bacteria.

Transduction has an advantage over conjugation in that it does not require physical contact between the donor and recipient cells, and it is resistant to DNase enzymes that degrade free DNA in the environment. Transduction also has an advantage over transformation in that it can transfer larger fragments of DNA, up to hundreds of kilobases.

Transduction is also a useful tool for molecular biologists to introduce foreign genes into bacterial cells or study gene function and regulation. Transduction can be used for mapping genes, creating mutants, transferring plasmids and transposons, and isolating genes of interest.