The following sections of this BookRags Literature Study Guide is offprint from Gale's For Students Series: Presenting Analysis, Context, and Criticism on Commonly Studied Works: Introduction, Author Biography, Plot Summary, Characters, Themes, Style, Historical Context, Critical Overview, Criticism and Critical Essays, Media Adaptations, Topics for Further Study, Compare & Contrast, What Do I Read Next?, For Further Study, and Sources.
(c)1998-2002; (c)2002 by Gale. Gale is an imprint of The Gale Group, Inc., a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. Gale and Design and Thomson Learning are trademarks used herein under license.
The following sections, if they exist, are offprint from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction: "Social Concerns", "Thematic Overview", "Techniques", "Literary Precedents", "Key Questions", "Related Titles", "Adaptations", "Related Web Sites". (c)1994-2005, by Walton Beacham.
The following sections, if they exist, are offprint from Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults: "About the Author", "Overview", "Setting", "Literary Qualities", "Social Sensitivity", "Topics for Discussion", "Ideas for Reports and Papers". (c)1994-2005, by Walton Beacham.
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A genetic system is how the genetic material of a given species is organized and transmitted. It is the arrangement of the inheritable material within an organism, and how that material is transmitted to the next generation.
With all eukaryotic organisms, the genetic material is contained in specific structures. It is usually located in the nucleus, although some DNA can also be contained in various cell organelles such as the mitochondria, or in the chloroplasts of plants. The majority of living organisms are eukaryotes.
Prokaryotes are a type of living organism that do not have their genetic material in a specific site. Instead the genetic material is spread throughout the cell. Some bacteria and all viruses are prokaryotes.
All living organisms, with the exception of some viruses, have DNA as their genetic material. Those viruses have RNA as their genetic material. Eukaryotic organisms have their DNA arranged in the form of chromosomes, whereas prokaryotes have threads or circular bands of DNA or RNA.
The method of transmission of the genetic material is initially similar for all organisms. First, in all organisms, the genetic material must be reproduced. Differences begin to occur in the transmission process. With lower organisms, a simple process of splitting, or binary fission, takes place, dividing the cell contents between the resulting new organisms. With higher organisms, more complex systems operate, ensuring a mix of genetic material from different individuals. This process involves the production of gametes which fuse to produce a zygote. The exact details of how this process is carried out vary dramatically within the living world.
The genetic system has the same function for all living organisms, however, the exact mechanics can differ, even between quite closely related species.