Recombinant DNA is the merging of DNA sequences from a variety of species to add, remove, enhance, and modify the expression of traits. The genetic code is called ‘universal’ because it is used by all living organisms, the distinction of species come from the different expressions of the code by varying DNA sequences. The universality factor of genes allows sequences from multiple organisms to be pieced together and inserted into a plasmid or vector. The function of recombinant DNA is to be expressed, thus producing new codons and eventually proteins in a specific organism.
There are two stages of recombinant DNA production which is first producing the recombinant DNA and then replicating it. In replication of the recombinant data there are two methods: molecular cloning and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The difference is that molecular cloning is in vivo, within a cell whilst PCR is in vitro, within a test tube. In producing the recombinant data, sequences of target DNA of a species is removed with restriction enzymes and then ‘sticky ends’ are added by DNA ligase. Hybridization occurs when DNA ligase inserts the foreign sequence into a plasmid, joining the sticky ends to plasmid sequence.
The recombinant DNA can then be cloned by either molecular cloning or PCR. In molecular cloning, the recombinant plasmid is inserted into a cell which then DNA replication expresses and enhances the traits of the foreign DNA. In polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the recombinant DNA is placed in a test tube with enzymes and it undergoes cycles of heating and cooling, where it is amplified to produce thousands of copies by DNA polymerase.