Gene amplification is a common feature of the genome of prokaryotic organisms. In this review, we analyze different instances of gene amplification in a variety of prokaryotes, including their mechanisms of generation and biological role. Growing evidence supports the concept that gene amplification be considered not as a mutation but rather as a dynamic genomic state related to the adaptation of bacterial populations to changing environmental conditions or biological interactions. In this context, the potentially amplifiable DNA regions impose a defined dynamic structure on the genome. If such structure has indeed been selected during evolution, it is a particularly challenging hypothesis.