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Discussion 11: Bacterial Evolution
6 6

Directions: Consider that bacteria are able to evolve faster than animals.

One contributing factor in the faster evolution of bacteria is that they

reproduce much faster than animals. Think about some other reasons for

this fast evolution rate. Consider also that bacteria have a higher rate of

mutation. Given what you know about mutations in general, why would this

contribute to an overall faster evolution rate? In your answer, feel free to

contribute your own scientifically-based thoughts as well as any science-

based research you may encounter.

Submission: After you have posted your initial post, read and respond to

two or more of your classmates’ posts. Be sure to make substantive and

constructive comments (just posting “nice post” doesn’t count). For

example, add something from your own experience, something you’ve read

or seen. If the situation calls for it, feel free to state an opinion, but be sure

to state any points with which you agree and/or those with which you

disagree, as well as your reasons for agreeing or disagreeing.

Grading: This discussion is worth 30 points and will be graded using

the Discussion Rubric. Pease use it as a guide toward successful completion

of this assignment. 

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Robin Patterson (https://canvas.fscj.edu/courses/71848/users/148704)

Wednesday

Bacteria can evolve much faster than plants and animals because they

grow much faster and some bacteria’s can reproduce or double in as

little as 4 to 20 minutes which allows for faster adaptation. Due to this

rapid reproduction hey have larger population sizes that offer more

opportunities for mutations allowing them to dominate. The evolutionary

excess in bacteria relies on constant mutation rates which in turn

maximizes the adaptability to the constantly changing environmental

conditions. 

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Beyonce Miranda-Gomez (She/Her)
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Yesterday

8/11/23, 6:38 PM
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Hello Robin, I enjoyed reading your short but informative post! I also

found myself having difficulty saying more but as I read your post I

definitely think that I could have done a lot more research. I enjoyed

learning about the time frame bacteria actually reproduces.

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Brooklyn Rossi (https://canvas.fscj.edu/courses/71848/users/24335)

Yesterday

8/11/23, 6:38 PM
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One reason for bacteria’s faster rate of evolution can be attributed to

their ability to mutate and exchange genetic mutation. Because bacteria

is asexual, using binary fission, they do get a mix of different traits to

reproduce. Their offspring are clones. In order to adapt and maintain the

level of fitness needed for survival, bacteria needs a means to still have

genetic diversity. Bacteria developed a way to get that diversity though

transformation, transduction and conjugation that allows them to be

transferred genetic information and mutate. Instead of having to

basically breed for these desirable traits, it can gain new traits by picking

up DNA, a virus leaving DNA behind in the cell, and plasmid DNA

transfer. This means the bacteria does not need to wait for the mutation

and evolution to occur over generations to slowly develop. It occurs in

the cell then is replicated when they reproduce. Combine this with

bacteria’s extremely rapid reproduction, and you have a whole slew of

bacteria with this mutation.

 

“Conjugation, Transformation & Transduction | Bacteria

(Article).” Khan Academy, www.khanacademy.org/science/ap-

biology/gene-expression-and-regulation/mutations-

ap/a/genetic-variation-in-

prokaryotes#:~:text=Key%20points%3A,through%20a%20tube

%20between%20cells (http://www.khanacademy.org/science/ap-

biology/gene-expression-and-regulation/mutations-ap/a/genetic-

variation-in-

prokaryotes#:~:text=Key%20points%3A,through%20a%20tube%20bet

ween%20cells) . Accessed 10 Aug. 2023. 

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Beyonce Miranda-Gomez (She/Her)

8/11/23, 6:38 PM
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(https://canvas.fscj.edu/courses/71848/users/129249)

Yesterday

Hello Bonnie! I appreciate how you went in depth with your points.

Explaining how and why bacteria mutate. I found your post very

informing and overall alluring! Makes me want to do more research to

learn the reasons why such things happen

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Beyonce Miranda-Gomez (She/Her)
(https://canvas.fscj.edu/courses/71848/users/129249)

Yesterday

8/11/23, 6:38 PM
Page 5 of 7

Bacteria first appeared more than 3 billion years ago and they have

lasted this long because of their high evolution rate. It is fascinating how

their overall ability to survive is set up perfectly for them. There are many

contributors for their ability to evolve faster than animals and other living

organisms. According to my research, one of the main contributors is

their population. Since there are so many forms of bacteria and so many

of them together, they exchange genetic informations faster and

mutate/evolve faster. Genetically, they also have the ability and skill of

controlling RNA, which involved gene expression and protein synthesis.

Bacteria generally just grows really fast, and in that growth there is

evolution. 

Overall, they all have the “ABC’S” of survival, which is why they have

survived for so long. 

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Robin Patterson
(https://canvas.fscj.edu/courses/71848/users/148704)

4:26pm

Hi Beyonce,

No matter how hard I try I cannot grasp time frames such as 3 billion

years ago. I know there is science behind the data it just blows my

mind to think organisms existed that long ago. Bacteria as you stated

has everything it needs to survive and is apparently doing very well

with all of the various strands of bacteria that exist today such as

campylobacter, E. coli., and salmonella just to name a few. I

appreciated your explanation of RNA which I struggled with

understanding.

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