Genetics: Original Sex

Bacteria normally multiply by sexless fission-they simply split in two. Still, scientists believe that some kinds of bacteria occasionally manage a kind of sexual mating. It is almost impossible to catch them in the act, though, because they have no special sex organs, and often when they cling together it is not for love. But at least one kind of microscopic bug has a sex life with a difference. Professors Pavel Nemec and Vojtech Bystricky of the Slovak Polytechnical University in Bratislava report that the Caulobacter, a harmless bacterium found in soil,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!