Conjugation – The transfer of genes from one prokaryotic cell to another by a mechanism involving cell-to-cell contact.
Conjugation is a form of sexual reproduction in bacteria. Two individual cells are united by a tube formed by outgrowths from one or both cells. Genetic material from one cell (designated the male) then passes through the tube to unite with genetic material in the other cell (designated female).
Bacterial conjugation is initiated and directed by sex factors located in bacterial plasmids.