In transformation, naked DNA from the donor is taken up by the recipient.

The ability to adsorb, fragment, up-take, and recombine foreign DNA (as ssDNA) is termed competence. Natural competence involves a genetically programmed physiological state achieved by some strains of gram-negative (H. influenzae, N. gonorrhoeae) and gram-positive (S. pneumoniae, B. subtilis) bacteria. Artificial competence may be induced in some strains of bacteria (E. coli) through techniques utilizing CaCl2 and temperature manipulation.

More detail: Bacterial Transformation

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