Biology as Poetry: Genetics

Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Extrachromosomal DNA

The genetic material associated with plasmids, endosymbiotic organelles, and non-integrated viruses.

Basically, of course, extrachromosomal DNA is DNA that is other than physically or genetically linked to chromosomal DNA. Much of such DNA is found within the cytoplasm, and this particularly the case with plasmids or unintegrated virues that are associated with prokaryotic organisms (that is, which are not integrated into the chromosome) as well as that associated with endosymbionts in general. Note, though, that in some cases it can be difficult to distinguish small chromosomes from large pieces of extrachromosomal DNA.

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