Microbial genetics is still in a phase of expansion and the splitting of the subject this year has somewhat relieved the reviewer's labours. The present paper attempts to cover the developments in the genetics of bacteria which have taken place in the years 1955 and 1956, i.e., subsequent to the publication of the previous review by Zelle (181). Work on phage will be considered only insofar as directly relevant. The author is also grateful to the editors for their encouragement in suggesting that attention be focussed on selected problems. The choice of subjects to which more space and time has been dedicated is inevitably dependent on the author's taste and background. Although a general picture has been attempted, omissions may have occurred, voluntarily or involuntarily. Moreover, the tyranny of space has made it impossible to consider cytology, radiation, and biochemical genetics, except for a few selected themes. Apologies are offered in advance to readers and writers for these omissions.

The following topics will be discussed: mechanisms of genetic transfer; genetic changes in individuals and populations; phenogenetics; some cytological contributions; taxonomy and the species problem.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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