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:
- The bacterial chromosome replicates.
- 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.
- 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.