Because bacteria reproduce asexually each organism typically obtains its genetic material from only Show more Because bacteria reproduce asexually each organism typically obtains its genetic material from only one parent.
However bacteria do have mechanisms for bringing together DNA from different individuals. One of these mechanisms is bacterial conjugation a process that results in the direct transfer of genetic material from one bacterium to another. The figure shows two examples of bacterial conjugation. In these examples bacteria with a segment of DNA called an F factor are able to initiate conjugation. An F factor is a piece of DNA that contains about 25 genes. Most of the genes in the F factor are related to the production of a structure called a mating bridge. The mating bridge links two bacterial cells during conjugation allowing for DNA transfer. The F factor may be found on a separate piece of DNA called an F plasmid shown in part (a) of the figure. Or it may be found within the main bacterial chromosome shown in part (b) of the figure. Show less