What is horizontal gene transfer?
A process known as genetic reshuffling results in the acquisition of genes from unrelated RNA viruses by DNA viruses. This process creates new viral strains which can then spread and infect other organisms. This process is an example of horizontal gene transfer.
DNA Viruses Can Acquire Genes from Unrelated RNA Viruses
Genetic Reshuffling: The acquisition of genes from unrelated RNA viruses by DNA viruses. Horizontal Gene Transfer: The transfer of genetic material between organisms other than parent-to-offspring. Viral Strain: A variation within a species of virus that is genetically distinct from other variations.
Horizontal gene transfer is thought to be a major driving force in evolution. Viral strains can be used to trace evolution over time. Genetic reshuffling has been observed in many types of viruses, including influenza and HIV.
Work together in pairs: How does the process of gene conversion among some DNA viruses allow them to become more genetically diverse?
Which of the following is true about some DNA viruses?
- They can acquire genes from unrelated RNA viruses.
- They can convert the gene.
- They can replicate.
- They can delete genes.
What can some DNA viruses do with the genes they acquire?
- Replicate them.
- Delete them.
- Convert them.
- Inactivate them.
What is the main difference between DNA and RNA?
- DNA contains deoxyribose sugar while RNA contains ribose sugar.
- DNA is double-stranded while RNA is single-stranded.
- DNA contains thymine while RNA contains uracil.
- DNA is found in the nucleus while RNA is found in the cytoplasm.