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plasmidPlasmid (ger.)

  • A genetic structure in a cell that replicates independently of the chromosomes; spec. any of the small circular strands of DNA occurring in the cytoplasm of many bacteria and protozoans, much used in the laboratory manipulation of genes. (OED 2012)

    I propose plasmid as a generic term for any extrachromosomal hereditary determinant.

    Lederberg, J. (1952). Cell genetics and hereditary symbiosis. Physiol. Rev. 32, 403-430: 403.