- sex pili
Fine filamentous projections (pili) on the surface of a bacterium that are important in conjugation. Often seem to be coded for by plasmids that confer conjugative potential on the host; in the case of the F-plasmid, the F-pili are 8-9nm diameter and several microns long, composed of pilin. Whether the pili merely serve to establish and maintain adhesive contact between the partners in conjugation, or whether DNA is actually transferred through the central core of the pilus is still unresolved, although a simple adhesion role is more generally accepted.
Dictionary of molecular biology. 2004.
Look at other dictionaries:
sex pilus — (pi lus) A thin protein appendage required for bacterial mating or conjugation. The cell with sex pili donates DNA to recipient cells … Dictionary of microbiology
pilus — (= pili (plural) ; fimbrium, fimbria (plural) ) Hair like projection from surface of some bacteria. Involved in adhesion to surfaces (may be important in virulence), and specialized sex pili are involved in conjugation with other bacteria. Major… … Dictionary of molecular biology
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pilin — (1) General term for the protein subunit of pilus. (2) Protein subunit (7.2 kD) of F pili, sex pili coded for by the F plasmid … Dictionary of molecular biology
conjugative plasmid — A plasmid that carries the genes for sex pili and can transfer copies of itself to other bacteria during conjugation … Dictionary of microbiology