33.3 MB (33.0 MB compressed)
2802 x 4157 pixels
23.6 x 35.3 cm ⏐ 9.3 x 13.9 in (300dpi)
ANDERSON / OMIKRON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANDERSON / OMIKRON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A transmission electron micrograph (TEM) showing bacterial recombination. The slender tube between the two bacteria of different strains in this electron micrograph is known as a pilus (plural: pilli) (in purple). Its proteins are produced in a plasmid-plus bacterium by two genes on the plasmid chromosome. The pilus is a plasmid's way of moving its genes from bacterium to another. Once the pilus forms the plasmid undergoes a round of replication. The new plasmid chromosome passes through the pilus into the plasmid-minus bacterium. The arrival of a plasmid changes the recipient into a plasmid-plus bacterium, which is capable of repeating the process. Magnification = x40,000.
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