Biotechnology deals with microorganisms, plant or animal cells or their enzymes to produce the useful products for human’s welfare.



Biotechnology deals with microorganisms, plant or animal cells or their enzymes to produce

The useful products for human’s welfare.

  • The term "Biotechnology" was given by Karl Ereky (1919).

  • According to European Federation of Biotechnology (EFB), biotechnology is the integration of natural science and organisms, cells, parts thereof, and molecular analogues for products and services.


Principles of Biotechnology

The two core techniques that developed modern biotechnology are:

  1. Genetic engineering which is modification of chemical nature of DNA/RNA and their introduction into another host organism to change the phenotypic characters of the host.

  2. Sterilization methods to maintain growth and manipulation of only the desired microbes or cells in large quantities, for the manufacture of biotechnological products like antibiotics, vaccines, enzymes, etc.


The basic steps in genetic engineering include:

  1. Identification of DNA with desirable genes.

  2. Introduction of the DNA into host to form recombinant DNA (rDNA).

  3. Maintenance of introduced DNA in host and gene cloning.

  4. Transfer of the DNA to its progeny.


In 1972, Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer constructed the first recombinant DNA.


Steps carried out in constructing first recombinant DNA:

  1. A gene encoding antibiotic resistance in the native plasmid of Salmonella typhimurium V. was identified. Plasmid is an autonomously replicating circular extra-chromosomal DNA.

  2. The desired DNA was cut at specific locations by restriction enzymes.

  3. The cut DNA was linked to plasmid DNA and transferred to E. coli for gene multiplication.


Tools of Recombinant DNA Technology

The key tools required for the recombinant DNA technology are:

  1. Restriction enzymes

  2. Ligases

  3. Host organism/cell

  4. Polymerase enzymes

  5. Vectors


Restriction Enzymes

  • The restriction enzymes are called "molecular scissors" and are responsible for cutting DNA.

  • They are present in bacteria to provide a type of defense mechanism called the "restriction-modification system".