Recombinant DNA technology

From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary



A series of procedures carried out to artificially join together DNA molecules from two different (or multiple) species, and to introduce this joined DNA into a host organism


Recombinant DNA technology entails the various procedures so that DNA molecules from different species can be spliced and joined together into a chimeric DNA, which can be introduced to a host cell or organism. The main objectives of the use of recombinant DNA technology are to identify, isolate, manipulate, and re-express genes from a host. In particular, it is used to develop a fundamental understanding of the function and regulation of known gene products, to identify new genes, as in reverse genetics, to correct endogenous genetic defects, to express foreign genes in disease-susceptible hosts, and to manufacture large quantities of a protein product.1

The different methods used to produce recombinant DNA are (1) transformation, (2) phage introduction, and (3) non-bacterial transformation. In transformation, a piece of DNA is selected, cleaved with a restriction enzyme, and then ligated to be inserted into a vector with DNA ligase. A marker (e.g. antibiotic marker) is also included to allow for the identification of recombinant DNA. In non-bacterial transformation, the process is basically the same except that bacteria are not used as host. In phage introduction, phage is used instead of bacteria.2

See also:

1 Carroll, W. L. (1993). Introduction to recombinant-DNA technology. Am J Clin Nutr. 58 (2 Suppl):249S-258S.
2 Kuure-Kinsey, M. and McCooey, B. (2000). The Basics of Recombinant DNA. Retrieved from