This animation shows how bacteria can transfer genes to each other.
As shown in the animation, a bacterium can directly transfer genetic material to another bacterium using a structure called a pilus. This cell-to-cell transfer process, called conjugation, helps antibiotic resistance genes spread quickly throughout a bacterial population.
This animation is a clip from a 1999 Holiday Lecture Series, 2000 and Beyond: Confronting the Microbe Menace. Depending on students’ background, it may be helpful to pause the animation at various points to discuss different features.
antibiotic resistance, cell signaling, horizontal gene transfer, infectious disease, pilus