The Bacterial Genome

Bacteria are unicellular organisms that lack a nuclear membrane ( FIGURE 8.5). Most bacterial genomes consist

I 8.5 Most bacterial cells possess a single, circular chromosome not bounded by a nuclear membrane. (K.G. Murti/Visuals Unlimited.)

of a circular chromosome that contains a single DNA molecule several million base pairs in length. For example, the genome of E. coli has approximately 4.6 million base pairs of DNA (such as V cholerae). However, some bacteria contain multiple chromosomes, and a few even have linear chromosomes. Bacterial chromosomes are usually organized efficiently, with little DNA between genes. General information on bacteria, bacterial structure, and major groups of bacteria, with some great pictures

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