Biology (11th Edition)

Published by McGraw-Hill Education
ISBN 10: 1-25918-813-2
ISBN 13: 978-1-25918-813-8

Chapter 28 - Prokaryotes - Review Questions - Synthesize: 2

Answer

Heat-killed bacteria in the Griffiths experiment would have released their chromosomes into the environment, which could then have been taken up by non-virulent bacteria. Using the new DNA, these would have become virulent by getting the genes for the smooth coat.

Work Step by Step

First consider means of DNA transfer: one of them allows for transfer from the environment. This could explain transfer of virulence to non-virulent bacteria without living virulent cells being involved.
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