from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A circular, double-stranded unit of DNA that replicates within a cell independently of the chromosomal DNA. Plasmids are most often found in bacteria and are used in recombinant DNA research to transfer genes between cells.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A circle of double-stranded DNA that is separate from the chromosomes, and which is found in bacteria and protozoa.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A piece of DNA, usually circular, functioning as part of the genetic material of a cell, not integrated with the chromosome and replicating independently of the chromosome, but transferred, like the chromosome, to subsequent generations of daughter cells. In bacteria, plasmids often carry the genes for antibiotic resistance; they are exploited in genetic engineering as the vehicles for introduction of extraneous DNA into cells, to alter the genetic makeup of the cell. The cells thus altered may produce desirable proteins which are extracted and used; in the case of genetically altered plant cells, the altered cells may grow into complete plants with changed properties, as for example, increased resistance to disease.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a small cellular inclusion consisting of a ring of DNA that is not in a chromosome but is capable of autonomous replication
From plasma + -id. (Wiktionary)