Dictionary > Recombinant DNA

Recombinant DNA

Genetically-engineered DNA molecule formed by splicing fragments of DNA from a different source or from another part of the same source, and then introduced into the recipient (host) cell
Recombinant DNAs are molecules of DNA that are formed through genetic recombination methods. DNA molecules from two or more different sources are cleaved using restriction enzymes and then joined together using ligases. Recombinant DNA is possible since the fundamental chemical structure of DNA molecules is the same in most organisms.
The DNA fragments may come from any species. Thus, recombinant DNA is sometimes referred to as chimeric DNA due to the DNA resulting from the recombination of DNA fragments from two different species, likened to a chimera. An example of this is a plant DNA that is joined to a bacterial DNA.
The different methods used to produce recombinant DNA are (1) transformation, (2) phage introduction, and (3) non-bacterial transformation. The protein expressed from a recombinant DNA us termed recombinant protein. The expression into protein though would require restructuring of the gene that would produce a particular mRNA molecule, which can be used by the translational apparatus (e.g. promoter, translational initiation signal, and transcriptional terminator) within the host cell.1
Abbreviation / Acronym: rDNA

  • chimeric DNA

See also:

  • DNA
  • cloning
  • recombinant DNA technology
  • Reference(s):

    1 Hannig, G. and Makrides, S. (1998). “Strategies for optimizing heterologous protein expression in Escherichia coli”. Trends in Biotechnology 16 (2): 54–60.

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