Sex pilus | definition of sex pilus by Medical dictionary
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Related to sex pilus: R plasmid
, F pilus
sex pilus specialized PILUS required for mating in GRAM-NEGATIVE BACTERIA (see CONJUGATION). The pilus is typically encoded by a CONJUGATIVE PLASMID, whether present as an extrachromosome, as in an F+ CELL for example, or integrated into the chromosome, as in an HFR STRAIN. The pilus plays a role in recognizing appropriate recipient cells and in establishing cell to cell contact. After initial contact the pilus retracts to bring the recipients and DONORS together, with formation of a DNA transport pore/bridge for subsequent transfer of genetic material.