Bacteriophages: new method of genetic transduction uncovered

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Research teams led by the National University of Singapore (NUS; Singapore) and the University of Glasgow (UK) have reported a third genetic transduction mechanism;  ‘lateral transduction’, in the journal Science. With bacteriophages reported to facilitate DNA transfers of hundreds of kilobases at a time, this mechanism is the most efficient transduction pathway yet and thus, has the highest danger potential.

The danger here comes with this mechanism allowing bacteria the opportunity to evolve and acquire virulence factors or worse, antibiotic resistance, at a much higher rate due to increased DNA transfer load and frequency of transfer.

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