Transfer of genetic information via isolated mammalian chromosomes
Recombination of genetic information from different origin has provided insight in many aspects of the genetic mechanisms of the living cell. These aspects concern the location of genes on chromosomes, the regulation of gene expression and the interaction of different genes in the determination of a particular phenotype. The classic process to produce such new genetic combinations is the conjugation of a male and female gamete, resulting in the formation of a zygote. Genetic studies at the molecular level with micro organisms, have lead to the discovery of other processes for the formation of new genetic combinations. One of these processes is genetic transformation, defined as the integration and expression of a small piece of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), extracted from donor cells and introduced into the genome of the recipient cells. A second process is transduction, which is defined as the bacteriophage mediated transfer of genetic information from one bacterium (donor) to another (recipient). The bacteriophage involved, multiplies in the donor bacterium and, after lysis, it is able to transfer genetic information of the donor to recipient bacteria upon infection.