lateral gene transfer

noun

Medical Definition of lateral gene transfer

: horizontal gene transfer The reason for this breakdown is a process called lateral gene transfer, in which organisms acquire genes not from their parents but by picking up stray fragments of DNA from organisms in their environment.— Bob Holmes, New Scientist, 27 June 1998

Learn More about lateral gene transfer

Cite this Entry

“Lateral gene transfer.” Merriam-Webster.com Medical Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/lateral%20gene%20transfer. Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

Comments on lateral gene transfer

What made you want to look up lateral gene transfer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!