Question: Origin of plasmids

Szatmari George szat at ERE.UMontreal.CA
Tue Oct 24 11:21:08 EST 1995

In article <DGLFD2.HsE at utu.fi> Monica.Osterblad at utu.fi writes:
   (previous postings deleted)>>>
>True, but also remember that plasmids have their own mechanisms for 
>spreading laterally, that is, by conjugation to other bacteria. And
>they don't like competition from related plasmids either: 
>incompatibility. What it all adds up to, is that plasmids sort of
>have a life of their own, too. They are not only just tools for
>their "host" bacteria - although they are that too.
>Could one say that they in a way are symbiontic "viruses"?

I wouldn't say symbiotic viruses, but molecular symbionts would
probably be closer.  Some bacterial viruses (bacteriophages)
do exist as plasmids in the lysogenic state - P1 is a good
example of this.


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