The mechanism of DNA transfer in the mating system of an archaebacterium

Ilan Rosenshine*, Ronen Tchelet, Moshe Mevarech

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations


The genetic transfer system in the extremely halophific archaebacterium Halobacterium volcanii is the only archaebacterial mating system known. The mechanism of genetic transfer of this archaebacterium was studied by using the immobile plasmids pHV2 and pHV11 as cytoplasmic markers. It was found that the cytoplasms of the parental types do not mix during the mating process, that each parental type can serve both as a donor and as a recipient, and that cytoplasmic bridges, with dimensions of up to 2 micrometers long and 0.1 micrometer in diameter, were formed between the parental types. These bridges appear to be used for the transfer of DNA from one cell to another. If so, this archaebacterial mating system is different from both eubacterial conjugation and eukaryotic sexual cell fusion.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1387-1389
Number of pages3
Issue number4924
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


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