Plasmids and Why They are Used to Produce Bacteria with Recombinant DNA
Perhaps you wonder about the reason why are plasmids used to produce bacteria with recombinant DNA by the scientists for various purposes. This question, along with the definition of what a plasmid really is, are the most asked questions by people who are still new in the field of molecular biology. Or perhaps you are just curious. If you are really curious and trying to figure out the true answer, then you do not have to worry! In this article, we will discuss anything regarding the definition of a plasmid and we will also figure out about what a recombinant DNA really is. But before we start discussing those, we want to ask you : what do you know about bacteria?
What are bacteria?
Before we go to the harder topic which includes why are plasmids used to produce bacteria with recombinant DNA, let us discuss the basic thing first. First, we will figure out what bacteria really are. Okay, let’s jump to the explanation!
Bacteria, in singular form, is called bacterium, are organisms which possess only a single cell in their body and have an incredibly small size, which is microscopic. Bacteria have several types regarding the shape of their body, which are spherical, straight or rod-shaped, and spiral-like. Bacteria survive by utilizing several different ways of consuming food from the environment around them, which are heterotrophs (consuming organic carbon, such as dead organisms) and autotrophs (producing their own foods by photosynthesis or chemosynthesis). Also, no matter where you live, you will not be able to get away from them since bacteria live in every corner of the Earth, even in the most severe and extreme environments!
Just like other organisms, bacteria also possess cell, albeit only one. However, unlike most of the other organisms, the cell of bacteria does not have a nucleus available as they are prokaryotic organisms. What can you find inside of the cell of the bacteria? Well, you can find :
Capsule, can be found at the outside layer which envelopes the cell wall, although not every bacteria have this.
Cell wall, the part which provides a shape for the bacteria and composed of peptidoglycan.
Plasma membrane, used by the bacteria in order to produce the necessary amount of energy and distributing chemicals which are important for survival, it is found under the cell wall.
Cytoplasm, a substance where we can find the bacteria’s genetic materials and ribosomes, found inside the plasma membrane and shapes like a gel.
DNA, as you all have known, DNA contains every instruction of the genetics of the bacteria which control their development and function and can be found in the cytoplasm.
Ribosomes, used to create and synthesize proteins and it is made of granules which are rich in RNA.
Flagellum, used as propulsion for the bacteria and some bacteria has multiple flagella.
Pill, to keep the bacteria sticking on a surface and as a tool to transfer their genetic material to other cells, which means, it is used by the bacteria to infect and cause diseases to other organisms.
What are plasmids?
What are they and why are plasmids used to produce bacteria with recombinant DNA? Well, to start, the simplest way to explain what plasmids really are is that they are the small pieces of DNA which shape like a circle and able to replicate from the chromosomal DNA of their host independently. Also, plasmids are beneficial to their host because they provide several beneficial effects, such as antibiotic resistance. Naturally, plasmids have their own characteristics, such as the number of the plasmids to copy and controlling the range of the host, and usually contain the gene which has the advantage in order to survive in the environment. On the contrary, laboratory-produced plasmids are artificial and able to accept foreign DNA into another cell. Plasmids which are produced in the labs also have their own replication origin, a selection marker, and a cloning site, but in a minimal way. The reason why are plasmids used to produce bacteria with recombinant DNA by the scientists or bioengineers is that plasmids are easy to be modified and they can replicate their own cell.
Since the plasmids constructed in the lab are artificial in nature, they are often referred to as vectors by the scientists. In order to put an important gene into the vector, you need to follow and use one of the methods of cloning, such as enzyme restriction or the gateway method. Of course, in order to choose the suitable cloning method, you need to take a proper observation of the type of the plasmid you are going to clone. After the steps of the method are complete, the vector will contain a new gene which has just been inserted and it will be transformed into bacterial cells on antibiotic plates, then the best example will be taken.
Plasmids are usually utilized by the scientists as the tool which enables them to manipulate the expression of the gene contained within the cells that become the center of research and study. By using plasmids, the biologists who specialize in the field of molecular biology can apply them at a wide range of application, Several characteristics of the plasmids such as how flexible they are, how versatile they are, how safe they are, and how costly the research would affect the use of the plasmids on a scientific research.
Okay, after reading this article from the beginning to the end, what knowledge have you got? If you wish for some assistance in order to help you to summarize everything, this article will provide it to you. After reading, we now understand that bacteria are microscopic organisms that possess prokaryotic cells. Bacteria cells can be cloned by using the plasmids inside the DNA using the recombinant DNA. The reason why are plasmids used to produce bacteria with recombinant DNA by the scientists or bioengineers is that plasmids are easy to be modified and they can replicate their own cell.