Genetic Engineering and Recombinant DNA

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12 Questions

What is the genetic material for all living things?


Who proposed the structure of DNA as a double helix in 1953?

James Watson and Francis Crick

What is the genetic material that has been changed through genetic engineering?

Recombinant DNA

What is the process of changing the genetic material of an organism using varied technologies called?

Genetic Engineering

Which of the following is NOT a nitrogenous base found in DNA?


What is a fundamental, physical, and functional unit of heredity?


What is the purpose of ligation in recombinant DNA technology?

To join the gene of interest with the vector

Which organisms are typically utilized in bioremediation?

Pseudomonas putida and Nitrosomonas europaea

What is one application of recombinant DNA technology in agriculture?

Improving nutritional value of foods

What are some risks associated with genetically modified organisms (GMOs)?

Production of foods with known allergens

What is a benefit of genetically modified crops according to the text?

Extended shelf lives for foods

In gene therapy, what is the main purpose of treating or preventing genetic disorders and acquired diseases?

To address otherwise incurable diseases through genetic intervention

Study Notes

Genetic Engineering and Recombinant DNA

  • DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the genetic material for all living things, transmitting hereditary instructions from parents to offspring.
  • DNA has a double helix structure composed of sugar, phosphate, and nitrogenous bases.
  • James Watson and Francis Crick proposed the DNA structure in 1953.


  • RNA (ribonucleic acid) is similar to DNA, but with uracil instead of thymine.
  • RNA is involved in DNA transcription and translation.

Chromosomes and Genes

  • A chromosome is a segment of DNA that contains multiple genes.
  • A gene is a fundamental, physical and functional unit of heredity, responsible for an organism's physical and inheritable characteristics.

Genetic Engineering vs. Classical Breeding

  • Classical breeding practices focus on mating organisms with desirable qualities, without direct manipulation of genetic material.
  • Genetic engineering involves manipulating or changing an organism's genetic material using varied technologies.

Recombinant DNA and GMOs

  • Recombinant DNA is DNA that has been changed through genetic engineering, containing genetic material from two different species.
  • A GMO (genetically modified organism) is an organism to which new genes have been added.
  • Genetic modification can be completed by inserting new genetic material, direct replacement of genes, removal of genes, or mutation of existing genes.

Process of Recombinant DNA

  • The process involves cutting or cleaving DNA by restriction enzymes, selecting a vector, ligating the gene of interest with the vector, transferring the recombinant plasmid into a host cell, and selecting cells that contain the gene of interest.

Applications of Recombinant DNA

  • Recombinant DNA technology has been exploited in agriculture, medicine, and bioremediation.
  • In bioremediation, GMOs are introduced into a site to neutralize environmental contaminants.
  • Examples of organisms used in bioremediation include Pseudomonas putida and Nitrosomonas europaea.

Benefits and Risks of GMOs

  • Benefits of GMOs include improved nutritional value, new traits, and increased crop yields.
  • Risks of GMOs include adverse health reactions, unknown effects, limited biodiversity, and cross-pollination leading to 'super weeds'.

Learn about DNA, the genetic material for all living things, its structure as a double helix composed of sugar, phosphate, and nitrogenous bases, and the role of RNA in transmitting hereditary instructions. Explore the relationship between chromosomes, genes, and heredity.

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