A large number of bacteria are capable of doing horizontal gene transfer aside from the normal vertical gene transfer. The vertical gene transfer is simply the inheritance of genetic materials of the offspring from the parents. A horizontal gene transfer, on the other hand, is the transfer of genetic materials between organisms, subsequently passing different traits, such as antibiotic resistance. This is the one of the core ideas applied in DNA cloning.
The process of using DNA from one bacterium to alter the characteristics of another is called:
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