Which two techniques are used in biotechnology
Which two techniques are used in biotechnology, this question that many people ask, especially those involved with the field of biotechnology. The answer to this question will vary according to the perspective of the person asking. Some people consider techniques are used in biotechnology for improvement of crops are tissue culture and genetic engineering which is also called as Recombinant DNA technology. Other people who believe in the statement that biotechnology is more than just two technologies believe that there are multiple techniques and that each of them is equally important such Polymerase chain reaction, Cloning (DNA cloning, animal cloning).
1. Genetic Engineering (Recombinant DNA technology)
Genetic engineering is the modifying of an organism’s germ line with genetic engineering techniques to create a desired trait in the germline. The germline is the primary unit of life, composed of the hereditary material (genes) from one or more parents. The organism which gets the genetic altered DNA from one or more parents is known as a genetically modified organism (GMOs). The modified organisms are then used to develop diverse living organisms.
Recombinant DNA technology means joining of DNA molecules of different species and then inserted into host organism. It produces new genetic combinations which are of great importance. Recombinant DNA technology and their applications in the field of agriculture, medicine, industry and so on. Read about- Genetic Engineering
Recombinant DNA technology helps to transfer genes between two different species that are distantly related species. This is called as Distant Hybridization. Transgenic plants are produced by Recombinant DNA technology. Transgenic plants contain foreign genes. It provides resistance to many diseases, pests etc. It also helps in improvement of quality such as in BT-cotton. Read about-APPLICATIONS OF RECOMBINANT DNA TECHNOLOGY
STEPS INVOLVED IN RECOMBINANT DNA TECHNOLOGY
1) DNA ISOLATION
DNA must first be extracted and purified from cellular molecules, such as ribonucleic acids (RNAs), proteins, and structures such as cell membranes. For cloning purposes, DNA is obtained from the nucleus and is known as “genomic DNA.” One common method for DNA extraction is by ultracentrifugation of cell components in a density gradient made up with ethidium bromide in cesium chloride.
2) RESTRICTION ENZYME DIGESTION OF DNA
Restriction enzymes are enzymes that cut up very specific DNA sequences; they are used to create unique DNA fragments. To generate the desired DNA fragments, a specific single (or combination of) enzyme(s) is used to cut up or digest the DNA. The fragments are then purified by gel electrophoresis, which separates them from the unwanted DNA. Restriction enzymes (also called as restriction endonucleases) are the enzymes that cut DNA molecule at specific sites, produces sticky and blunt ends.
3) DNA LIGATION
Ligation is the process of joining together the donor and recipient (or vector) DNA fragments to create a recombinant DNA molecule. As restriction enzymes produce “sticky ends” and ligase enzyme can be used to join the DNA segments with phosphodiester linkages. DNA ligase enzyme catalyse the joining together of phosphodiester bonds of DNA. It acts as “molecular glues” that binds two DNA fragments and play important role in the fidelity of DNA replication.
4) RECOMBINANT DNA REPLICATION
The process of transformation or heat shock is used to put the recombinant DNA molecule into a host bacterial cell, which can then generate many copies of the synthetic DNA. These bacteria are grown on agar plates, cultured up in special bacterial broths, and then lysed in order to release the recombinant DNA. Finally, the DNA can be verified by DNA sequencing, functional experiments, and restriction enzyme digestion.
Another manner of cloning plants is by means of tissue culture. Sterile agar jelly with plant hormones and masses of nutrients is required. Tissue culture is more expensive and tough to do than taking cuttings.
In short, plant cloning is the process of getting a plant to grow a part of its own without any kind of aid from another plant or animal. The DNA of the plant is taken and injected into a cloned plant that already contains the desired part. The plant will develop and reproduce very similar to its natural counterpart. Some worry about this technique not being able to be perfected, however.
If the plant is successful, the clone will grow and reproduce just like its natural counterpart. If it’s not successful, then the plant simply will not grow or reproduce. This can be risky because it is unknown if the animal or the plant which is being cloned is safe to breed. Some animals that have been cloned and tried to grow again have caused problems for farmers and scientists.
The research done by the scientists in the said fields have made possible the production of several beneficial genetically modified organisms (gene products) to increase the productivity of the farmer’s plants. These products can also be useful to the environment. Some of the examples are the: rice gene product, potato gene product, tobacco and so on.
Effect on farmers
Scientists are also looking at the issue of the effects on farmers. When a plant is cloned, it takes away the source of the plant’s food. If the plant cloning process is not controlled correctly, it could pose a risk to farmers who rely on the plants for their own survival. The only way to make sure that plant and animal cloning will not pose such a risk is by creating the plants or animals that are truly one-of-a-kind. If a farmer discovers that he is receiving lower quality crops because his plant has been cloned, he should be able to work out an arrangement with the researchers to continue harvesting the plant in its natural form. This will help farmers both now and in the future.
Tools used in biotechnology
Various tools used in Biotechnology are- restriction enzymes, vectors etc. Vector in biotechnology is artificially manipulated vehicle that carries foreign DNA fragment. It can be plasmid, virus etc. Plasmids are naturally occurs in bacterial cells that are manipulated to be used in recombinant DNA technology.
Plasmid can be a cloning vector into which a foreign DNA fragment is inserted for cloning purposes. It should be stably maintained in an organism, if used as cloning vector. Plasmid can be expression vector, if it is designed for gene expression in cells.
But even if we take the point of view that there are two main technologies that are used in biotechnology, we still do not get a satisfactory answer to the question: Which two techniques are used in biotechnology? In this article, we will try to give some answers to this question.