Do bacteria have sex?

Nat Rev Genet. 2001 Aug;2(8):634-9. doi: 10.1038/35084593.


Do bacteria have genes for genetic exchange? The idea that the bacterial processes that cause genetic exchange exist because of natural selection for this process is shared by almost all microbiologists and population geneticists. However, this assumption has been perpetuated by generations of biology, microbiology and genetics textbooks without ever being critically examined.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / genetics*
  • Biological Evolution
  • Conjugation, Genetic / genetics
  • Recombination, Genetic / genetics*
  • Sex*