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Reverse transcription was discovered by which of the following scientists?
A. Watson and Crick
B. Khorana
C. Temin and Baltimore
D. Meischer

Last updated date: 21st Jun 2024
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Hint: Reverse transcription is a process of formation of DNA from RNA, which is opposite to the natural process that is, generally synthesis of RNA take place from DNA and then RNA converts to protein, this whole process is known as central dogma of life.

Complete answer:
All organisms except viruses, have DNA as their genetic material but viruses have DNA as well as RNA as their genetic material. Thus, when a virus wants to infect or live on its host, it tries to make its genome similar to the host genome so that, host cannot be able to recognize the virus genome.
So, for safer integration of the virus genome, it converts the RNA single stranded genome to double stranded DNA genome by the process known as reverse transcription. The discovery of this process was done by three scientists working independently.
In 1970, Temin, Satoshi Mitzutani and David Baltimore, worked and found that an enzyme could synthesize proviral DNA from the RNA genome. This discovery helps in finding a new family of viruses called retroviruses, their infections and diseases like cancer and others. They got the Nobel prize for discovery of interaction between tumour virus and genetic material of the cell.

Thus, we can conclude that option ‘C’ is the correct answer that is, Reverse transcription was discovered by Temin and Baltimore.

Note: Various viruses having this ability are:
> HIV-I reverse transcriptase from human immunodeficiency virus type -I.
> Another virus is Moloney murine Leukemia virus (M-MLV) this is also a reverse transcriptase.
> AMV reverse transcriptase from avian myeloblastosis virus.