1. The act of joining together or the state of being conjugated.

2. <cell biology> A sexual process seen in bacteria, ciliate protozoa and certain fungi in which nuclear material is exchanged during the temporary fusion of two cells (conjugants). In bacterial genetics a form of sexual reproduction in which a donor bacterium (male) contributes some or all, of its DNA (in the form of a replicated set) to a recipient (female) which then incorporates differing genetic information into its own chromosome by recombination and passes the recombined set on to its progeny by replication. In ciliate protozoa, two conjugants of separate mating types exchange micronuclear material and then separate, each now being a fertilized cell. In certain fungi, the process involves fusion of two gametes, resulting in union of their nuclei and formation of a zygote.

3. <chemistry> The joining together of two compounds to produce another compound, such as the combination of a toxic product with some substance in the body to form a detoxified product, which is then eliminated.

Origin: L. Conjugatio = a blending

(11 Mar 2008)