The Key Contents from this Module are:
The main function of nucleic acid is the storage and transmission of genetic information.
Two classes of nucleic acid distinguished based on the type of carbohydrate they contain are:
Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)
Ribonucleic Acid (RNA)
Four constituents of DNA are:
DNA has a double-helix structure composed of two intertwined strands. Sugar-phosphate backbone lies on the outside and the bases (A-T-C-G) lie on the inside.
A plasmid is a small, extrachromosomal DNA molecule within a cell that is physically separated from chromosomal DNA and can replicate independently. Plasmids act as a cloning vector to carry foreign DNA into a host cell.
DNA cloning is used to produce multiple copies of a single gene.
Agarose gel electrophoresis can be used to separate DNA fragments.
DNA cloning can be useful for two basic purposes as listed below:
To amplify a particular gene
To produce a protein product
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a method widely used to rapidly make millions to billions of copies of a specific DNA sample, allowing scientists to take a very small sample of DNA and amplify it to a large enough amount to study in detail.
Its three basic steps include:
Annealing of primers