Regulation of gene expression

The proteins synthesised by microorganisms may broadly be divided into structural proteins required for the fabric of the cell, and enzymes, used to maintain the essential metabolic processes of the cell. It would be terribly wasteful (and possibly harmful) to produce all these proteins incessantly, regardless of whether or not the cell actually required them, so microorganisms, in common with other living things, have mechanisms of gene regulation, whereby genes can be switched on and off according to the cell's requirements.

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