is created by David Witten, a mathematics and computer science student at Vanderbilt University. For more information, see the "About" page.

Recombinant DNA

What is Recombinant DNA?

Recombinant DNA is DNA combined from multiple sources. 

Process for Combining DNA


In order to combine DNA, you must have two things: regular DNA and bacterial plasmids, which are small, circular DNA molecules separate from the much larger bacterial chromosome. There are bacterial enzymes called restriction enzymes, which act like scissors. They recognize short nucleotide sequence and cut at specific points within these sequences. 

So, the restriction enzyme cuts the DNA between bases A and G within the recognition sequence, creating a piece of DNA called a restriction fragment. The staggered cuts yield DNA fragments with single-stranded ends. Those are called "sticky ends", and the plasmid DNA sticks to those sticky ends using DNA Ligase, the "pasting" enzyme. Now, there is one strand of DNA with multiple sources.

David Witten

Cellular Respiration