Recombinant DNA Technology

The exchange of genetic information between DNA segments of the same species is termed as genetic recombination. Nonetheless, with the advancement of technology, one can transfer genes of one species to another artificially.

In this article, you will find fundamental details of the artificial method - recombinant DNA technology and gain insight into the steps involved accordingly.

Fun fact: The technology of recombinant DNA was developed in 1973 by Boyer and Cohen.

Read on to find more details!

What is Recombinant DNA Technology?

It is the technology to produce an artificial DNA molecule by combining two or more fragments of DNA which are not necessarily associated with each other. Usually, such DNA fragments are obtained from several biological sources. 

Notably, several steps are followed to recombine DNA segments. Furthermore, under an ideal situation, a recombinant DNA molecule can replicate by entering a cell.

The said technology is also known as genetic engineering. In a broader sense, it is created through three different methods – transformation, non-bacterial transformation and phage introduction. 

DIY: Find out about these methods and explain them in your words. 

Goals of rDNA Technology

These are the goals of this technology – 

  1. Isolation and characterisation of genes.

  2. Desired modification in isolated genes.

  3. Artificial synthesis of new genes.

  4. Modification of organisms’ genome.

  5. Interpretation of hereditary diseases and related cures.

  6. Enhancement of the human genome.

Test Your Knowledge: Explain the recombinant DNA technology definition. List the goals of this technology.

Keeping that in mind, let’s proceed to find the steps involved in rDNA technology.

Process of RDNA Technology

These are its process –

  1. DNA isolation 

DNA is isolated in its pure form, which means they are devoid of other macromolecules.

  1. Cutting of DNA

For this step, the restriction enzymes are quite vital. It helps to identify the location wherein a designated gene is introduced into a vector genome. The said reaction is known as restriction enzyme digestions.

  1. Amplifying of DNA

Copies of genes are amplified through PCR or polymerase chain reaction. It is essentially a process to increase a single DNA copy into several copies after the desired gene of interest is cut with restriction enzymes. 

  1. Joining DNA

The vector and a section of DNA is joined in this step. It is achieved with the help of enzyme DNA ligase. 

  1. Insertion of rDNA into a host

Here rDNA is added to the recipient host cell, and the entire process is called transformation. Post insertion, the recombinant DNA multiplies and manifests as manufactured protein under favourable conditions.

This image below offers a clear idea of these steps.

Tools of rDNA Technology

Following are the tools -

Application of Recombinant DNA Technology

Recombinant DNA technology has been widely used in medical science, industries, animal husbandry and agriculture.

These following highlights the application of r DNA technology in brief -

  1. To produce recombinant HB vaccines.

  2. For producing human insulin.

  3. To facilitate better crop production.

  4. For producing growth hormones in humans to treat dwarfism.

  5. For better gene therapy. 

  6. To acquire DNA fingerprinting.

  7. To diagnose several types of diseases. 

What is Gene Cloning?

Typically, a clone is defined as a cluster of individual cells which come from a progenitor. A clone is genetically similar with its parent cell from which it replicates. 

DNA cloning is initiated when DNA fragments are inserted into DNA molecules. The said replicating molecule is the carrier of DNA vectors.  

Plasmids, yeast cells and viruses are among the prominent vectors of rDNA technology examples.

Confused about what is rDNA technology and gene cloning? Join our live online classes and gain a detailed insight into these concepts and much more. You can also refer to our recombinant DNA technology notes and polish question-answering skills. 

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Define Recombinant DNA Technology.

Ans. Recombinant DNA technology is a DNA-based device which allows researchers to recognise several genes, and then cut and insert them into the genome of other organisms. It can be used to manufacture medicines as well; Human insulin drug is a prime example of it.

2. How Does Recombinant DNA Technology work?

Ans. This technology works by altering the phenotype of an organism. Here, a genetically transformed vector is incorporated with the genome of an organism. Genes, where this foreign DNA is inserted, is regarded as a recombinant gene, and this whole process is called recombinant DNA technology.

3. Mention the Steps Involved in rDNA Technology.

Ans. There are six steps involved in rDNA technology. These are – isolating genetic material, restriction enzyme digestion, using PCR for amplification, ligation of DNA molecules, Inserting the recombinant DNA into a host, and isolation of recombinant cells.