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Vertical gene transfer and binary fission

Vertical gene transfer refers to the transfer of genetic material from a parent to the offspring.

Vertical gene transfer only occurs through reproduction. Bacteria divide asexually through binary fission, which is a simple three step process:

  1. The bacterial chromosome replicates.
  2. The two chromosome copies attach to the cell membrane on opposite sides of the cell. The cell membrane then grows, increasing the size of the cell.
  3. The cell constricts at the equator and divides, producing two daughter cells, each with a copy of the chromosome.
These E. coli are dividing. Bacteria divide through binary fission.
These E. coli are dividing. Bacteria divide through binary fission.