Difference between Blunt and Sticky End Ligation

Blunt End Ligation

Endonucleases and exonucleases are the restriction enzymes used in molecular techniques. They cut the desired DNA portion. Usually, a straight cut creates blunt ends or non-overhanging ends. These ends can be joined using a DNA ligase enzyme. The joining of two blunt ends is called blunt end ligation. This does not need matching or complementary ends for ligation.

Sticky End Ligation

Likewise, the restriction enzymes creating a staggered cut leads to two sticky ends or overhanging ends. The ligation between two overhanging ends with matching or complementary bases is called sticky end ligation. This sticky end ligation is more efficient than blunt end ligation. Thus, it is the most desired process in cloning techniques.

Difference between Blunt and Sticky End Ligation

Blunt End Ligation

Sticky End Ligation

This involves the ligation of two blunt ends.

This involves the ligation of two sticky ends.

Usually, a straight cut by restriction enzymes creates non-overhanging or blunt ends.

Usually, a staggered cut by restriction enzymes create overhangs or sticky ends.

The restriction enzymes used are EcoRV, SmaⅠ.

The restriction enzymes used are EcoR1, HindⅢ.

No complementary or matching strands are needed for ligation.

Matching or complementary strands are needed for ligation.

Less efficient

More efficient.

These ends are not favoured in biotechnology.

These ends are most desired in biotechnology.

Also Read: What is EcoRⅠ?

Frequently Asked Questions


What is DNA ligation?

The joining of two DNA fragments with an enzyme is called DNA ligation. This enzyme aids in the creation of a phosphodiester bond between the nucleic acid fragments. It is a favoured molecular technique to produce recombinant DNA molecules. The normally used enzyme is the T4 DNA ligase.

Extended Reading: DNA Ligases


What are restriction enzymes?

The restriction enzymes include a group of enzymes that cleave the DNA molecules. They usually cleave the sugar-phosphate backbone. The endonucleases are restriction enzymes that cleave DNA at specific positions. Whereas, exonucleases are another group of restriction enzymes that removes nucleotides from the DNA ends.

Also see: Biotechnology and its Principles.

Keep exploring BYJU’S Biology for more exciting topics.


Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published.