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质粒(英语:Plasmid),又名质体,是指在细胞的染色体或核区DNA之外,能够自主复制的DNA分子(字源:plasm为生殖质,-id表示粒)。质粒与染色体最主要的区分是,质粒不是细胞生存所必需,染色体则是细胞生存必需的。大部分的质粒都是环状分子,但是也有少数属于线状分子[1],它存在于许多细菌以及酵母菌生物中,乃至于植物的线粒体细胞器[1]。天然质粒的DNA长度从数千碱基对至数十万碱基对都有。质粒天然存在于这些生物里面,有时候一个细胞里面可以有一种乃至于数种的质粒的存在。质粒的套数英语Copy-number variation在细胞里从一到数千都有。有些质粒含有某种抗药基因(如大肠杆菌中就有含有抗四环素基因的质粒)。有一些质粒携带的基因可以赋予细胞额外的生理代谢能力,提高它的致病力。一般来说,质粒的存在与否对宿主细胞在良好环境下的生存没有决定性的作用。它是基因工程最常见的转载体




  1. ^ 1.0 1.1 Handa H. Linear plasmids in plant mitochondria: peaceful coexistences or malicious invasions?. Mitochondrion. 2008-01, 8 (1): 15–25 [2011-02-02]. (原始内容存档于2020-04-09). 


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