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[plaz-mid] /ˈplæz mɪd/

noun, Microbiology.
a segment of DNA independent of the chromosomes and capable of replication, occurring in bacteria and yeast: used in recombinant DNA procedures to transfer genetic material from one cell to another.
a small circle of bacterial DNA that is independent of the main bacterial chromosome. Plasmids often contain genes for drug resistances and can be transmitted between bacteria of the same and different species: used in genetic engineering

1952, from plasma + -id.

plasmid plas·mid (plāz’mĭd)
A circular, double-stranded unit of DNA that replicates within a cell independently of the chromosomal DNA and is most often found in bacteria; it is used in recombinant DNA research to transfer genes between cells. Also called extrachromosomal element.
A small, circular unit of DNA that replicates within a cell independently of the chromosomal DNA and is most often found in bacteria. Certain plasmids can insert themselves into chromosomes in places where there is a common sequence of nucleotides. Plasmids contain a few genes, which usually code for proteins, especially enzymes, some of which confer resistance to antibiotics. Plasmids are used in recombinant DNA research, especially to transform bacterial cells. See more at transformation.

A circular bacterial DNA, sometimes used as a vector for gene insertion or genetic engineering. Plasmids are often the site of genes that code for resistance to antibiotics.


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  • Plasmin

    [plaz-min] /ˈplæz mɪn/ noun, Biochemistry. 1. . /ˈplæzmɪn/ noun 1. a proteolytic enzyme that causes fibrinolysis in blood clots plasmin plas·min (plāz’mĭn) n. An enzyme that hydrolyzes peptides and esters of arginine and histidine and converts fibrin to soluble products. Also called fibrinase, fibrinolysin.

  • Plasminogen

    [plaz-min-uh-juh n, -jen] /plæzˈmɪn ə dʒən, -ˌdʒɛn/ noun, Biochemistry. 1. the blood substance that when activated forms . /plæzˈmɪnədʒən/ noun 1. (biochem) a zymogen found in blood that gives rise to plasmin on activation plasminogen plas·min·o·gen (plāz-mĭn’ə-jən) n. The inactive precursor to plasmin that is found in body fluids and blood plasma. Also called profibrinolysin.

  • Plasminogen activator

    plasminogen activator n. See urokinase.

  • Plasmo-

    1. a combining form representing plasma, or cytoplasm, in compound words: plasmolysis. combining form 1. of, relating to, or resembling plasma: plasmolysis plasmo- or plasm- pref. Plasma: plasmin.

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