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Recombinant DNA Technology

Recombinant DNA Technology

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This lesson will explain what recombinant DNA is and how it is used for genetic engineering.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

This lesson will cover the role of recombinant DNA technology in genetic engineering by looking at:

  1. Recombinant DNA Technology
  2. The Process

1. Recombinant DNA Technology

Genetic engineering is a process which involves the alteration of the genes of an organism. Recombinant DNA is used in genetic engineering because someone is altering the genes of a certain organism. Recombinant DNA contains the DNA of more than one species.

Term to Know

  • Recombinant DNA
  • A DNA molecule that contains DNA from multiple species, often used with bacteria (example: using recombinant DNA to stimulate E. coli to produce human insulin).
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Manipulating an organism’s DNA to create a genetically modified organism (mice, crops).

Recombinant DNA technology will use the DNA from a certain organism and then splice that DNA into bacterial DNA, and then that DNA will divide and replicate. The bacterial DNA is referred to as a plasmid. Plasmids are small circular regions of extra DNA molecules within a bacterium.


2. The Process

You might be wondering how this works exactly. Say you wanted to engineer a section of human DNA. Restriction enzymes are used to cut out specific sequences of bases of DNA. It will be used on the section of human DNA and the plasmid DNA. In the diagram below the dark strand is the human DNA, while the yellow is the plasmid.

Terms to Know

  • Restriction Enzyme
  • Enzymes that cut apart specific segments of DNA.
  • Plasmid DNA
  • DNA that is separate from a chromosome but can code for a protein, are often circular, double stranded and common in bacteria.

DNA Technology.png

The portion of human DNA will be combined with the plasmid with the help of modification enzymes. From there, it is placed inside of a bacterial cell. The cell will divide, and it will produce multiple bacterial cells that all have the recombinant DNA in them.

This is how a lot of modified DNA is produced quickly. This process has applications in helping us to further understand the human genome in medicine, and agriculture, and industry.

ExampleThis is the process used in insulin production. DNA that contains the genes for insulin production in humans will be spliced together with the bacterial plasmid inserted into a bacteria. The bacteria will then produce insulin.

Summary

Recombinant DNA technology is used in genetic engineering. It contains the DNA of more than one species. involves using restriction enzymes to cut sections out of DNA.  This DNA is combined with plasmid DNA with the help of modification enzymes. From there it is placed in a bacteria cell to replicate.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: This work is adapted from Sophia Author Amanda Soderlind

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Recombinant DNA

    A DNA molecule that contains DNA from multiple species, often used with bacteria (example: using recombinant DNA to stimulate E. coli to produce human insulin).

  • Genetic Engineering

    Manipulating an organism’s DNA to create a genetically modified organism (mice, crops).

  • Restriction Enzyme

    Enzymes that cut apart specific segments of DNA.

  • Plasmid DNA

    DNA that is separate from a chromosome but can code for a protein, are often circular, double stranded and common in bacteria.