Transformation is the transfers of virulence from one cell to another, through the transferring of genetic material. It was originally postulated in 1928 through the works of Federick Griffith, a British microbiologist. Griffith observed that the mutant form, non-virulent form, of the bacteria Streptococcus Pnumoniae could be transformed into the normal, virulent form, when injected into mice along with heat killed normal forms. He concluded that somehow the information the dead virulent form had transformed the mutant form into a virulent form.
Later on through the works of Avery, Macleod, and McCarty in 1944, it became obvious that DNA is the transforming property and the substance transferred during transformation, between cells. Furthermore, Hershey and Chase, in 1952, hypothesize that DNA and not protein is the genetic material in bacteriophages and after experimenting, concluded this theory and found that DNA must be the molecule used to reprogram cells.
DNA, shorthanded for Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid contains instructions for the development, functionality, and maintenance of new cells. DNA consists as chains of nucleotides, in two antiparallel strands in a double helix, connected by hydrogen bonds between complementary nitrogenous bases. Segments of DNA carrying genetic information are called genes, which mostly code for a specific type of protein. This lab will focus on the gene pGLO.
Thus transformation becomes specifically expressed as the intake and influence of new genetic material in the form of DNA. It involves a foreign gene being inserted into a cell, and causing changes in the organism’s traits. The trait changes are often caused by the new genetic material causing a change in protein construction and composition. The changes in proteins then influences the traits expressed by the particular proteins and influence the organism’s phenotype, or physical expression of traits.
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