Definitions for f factor
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U.S. National Library of Medicine
A plasmid whose presence in the cell, either extrachromosomal or integrated into the BACTERIAL CHROMOSOME, determines the "sex" of the bacterium, host chromosome mobilization, transfer via conjugation (CONJUGATION, GENETIC) of genetic material, and the formation of SEX PILI.
The Fertility factor allows genes to be transferred from one bacterium carrying the factor to another bacterium lacking the factor by conjugation. The F factor is carried on the F episome, the first episome to be discovered. Unlike other plasmids, F factor is constitutive for transfer proteins due to the gene traJ. The F plasmid belongs to a class of conjugative plasmids that control sexual functions of bacteria with a fertility inhibition system.
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