OMIKRON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY OMIKRON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False-colour transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of two mating bacteria of an unidentified species. Bacterial mating or conjugation is one of the processes used by bacteria to exchange genetic material. This image shows the central phase of the conjugation when the membranes are fused and DNA is transferred from the donor cell to the recipient one. Prior to this phase the donor cell, thanks to a thread-like surface structure known as the sex pilus, captures and draws the recipient cell for the fusion. However, the process of bacterial conjugation is not fully understood. Magnification unknown.
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