In transduction, viruses that infect bacteria move short pieces of chromosomal DNA from one bacterium to another “by accident.”Yep, even bacteria can get a virus! The viruses that infect bacteria are called bacteriophages. Bacteriophages, like other viruses, are the pirates of the biological world—they commandeer a cell’s resources and use them to make more bacteriophages .
However, this process can be a little sloppy. Sometimes, chunks of host cell DNA get caught inside the new bacteriophage as they are made. When one of these “defective” bacteriophages infects a cell, it transfers the DNA. Some bacteriophages chop the DNA of their host cell into pieces, making this transfer process more likely^11start superscript, 1, end superscript.
Virus infects cell by injecting its DNA. Bacterial DNA is fragmented and viral DNA is replicated. New viral particles are made and exit the cell. One contains host DNA instead of viral DNA. When this virus infects a new host, it injects the bacterial DNA, which can recombine with the chromosome of the new hows.Image modified from “Conjugation,” by Adenosine (CC BY-SA 3.0). The modified image is licensed under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license.Archaea, the other group of prokaryotes besides bacteria, are not infected by bacteriophages but have their own viruses that move genetic material from one individual to another.