sex pilus


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Related to sex pilus: R plasmid, F pilus

sex pilus

See BACTERIAL CONJUGATION.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005

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.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005