Flow of Genetic Information

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Chapter: Pharmaceutical Microbiology : Microbial Genetics and Variations

Genetic information refers to such informations that are pertaining to or determined by genes.

Flow of Genetic Information


Genetic information refers to such informations that are pertaining to or determined by genes.


It has been well established that DNA replication makes it quite possible to maintain and sustain the flow of genetic information right from one generation to the next one.


Figure : 6.3 clearly shows the two different ways whereby the genetic information can flow conveniently.

[Adapted From : Tortora GJ et al. ‘Microbiology : An Introduction’, The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Co., Inc., New York, 5th end., 1995]


From Fig. 6.3, it is quite evident that the DNA of a cell undergoes replication before cell division ; and, therefore, each ‘daughter cell’ speficially receives a chromosome which is found to be very much identical to that of the ‘parent cell’. Thus, inside each metabolizing cell, the ensuing genetic information intimately associated in DNA also affords definite flow in two different modes, namely :


(a) Transcription i.e., genetic information is duly transcribed into messenger RNA (mRNA), and


(b) Translation i.e., subsequently, the transcribed mRNA is duly translated into respective desired proteins. These two aspects shall again be treated individually in Sections 2.8 and 2.9.


Salient Features : The salient features of Fig. 6.3 are as stated under :


(i) Genetic information may be transferred between generations of cells via replication of DNA,


(ii) Genetic information can also be exploited very much within a cell to produce the proteins which the cell requires to function. In fact, such a vital and important information is duly transferred via the processes of transcription and translation, and


(iii) The diagramatic representation of the cell is a bacterium which essentially bears a single circular chromosome.


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