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A genetic extrachromosomal element (e.g., the fertility factor (F) in Escherichia coli) which replicates within a cell independently of the chromosome and is able to integrate into the host chromosome. The step of integration may be governed by a variety of factors and so the term episome has lost favor and been superseded by the wider term plasmid. Plasmids and F factors are episomes.
Publication Source: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Publication Date: 1999
See also: Plasmid
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