Most DNA particles are said to be
'characterised' -that is, they code
for a specific protein or possess regulatory properties. However, certain uncharacterised material in the
form of short DNA sequences are
also carried to the new organism in
the course of the transfer of DNA
from one organism to another.
The earlier belief that only long DNA sequences are problematic has been disproved by a gene which codes for a small molecule called microcin C7, that has the ability to inhibit protein synthesis. The existence of small genes, thus, cautions against the transfer of uncharacterised DNA (The Gene Exchange, Vo16, Nos 2 and 3).
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