The conjugation process takes place when one bacterium transfers its genetic material to another bacterium through direct contact, via a pilus. One bacterium is the donor, and the other is the recipient. This process allows scientists to manipulate the transfer of genetic material from cell to cell.
Conjugation is used for transferring relatively large amounts of genetic material between organisms with minimal disruption of the target's cellular envelope. It can be used in genetic engineering to modify plant and animal strains against diseases, or the expression of certain traits (e.g. antibiotics resistance).