Biotechnology is defined as the broad area of biology which uses both the technology and the application of living organisms and their components to develop, modify and produce useful products for human welfare. The term ‘Biotechnology’ was coined in the year 1919 by an agricultural engineer Karoly Ereky, hence he is called as the father of Biotechnology.
Let us have an overview of the principles and processes of Biotechnology.
Principles of Biotechnology
According to modern Biotechnology, the main principles of Biotechnology are:
- Genetic engineering, which is used to modify the DNA of the target organism, thereby changing the phenotype of the organism.
- Bioprocess engineering, which is the maintenance of sterile conditions to support the growth of large quantities of desired microbes and other eukaryotic cells which are used for the production of new or modified biotechnological products such as antibiotics, enzymes, vaccines, etc.
The techniques of genetic engineering mainly include:
- DNA fragment is isolated from the donor organism.
- It is inserted into the vector DNA.
- It is transferred into an appropriate host.
- Cloning of the recombinant DNA in the host organism.
What is Recombinant DNA technology?
Recombinant DNA technology is also known as Genetic Engineering. It is the process of joining together two DNA molecules from two different organisms. This is known as the recombinant DNA.
The steps involved in the processes of Recombinant DNA technology are:
- Isolation of DNA
- DNA fragmentation using restriction endonucleases
- Ligation of the desired DNA fragment into the vector
- Transfer of the recombinant DNA into the host
- Culture of the transformed cells in a nutrient medium.
- Extraction of the desired product.
DNA cloning is the process of making multiple, identical copies of a piece of DNA. This process requires cloning vectors which possess the following properties:
- It should be smaller in size but should be able to carry a large DNA insert.
- The cloning vector should have the origin of replication so that it can autonomously replicate in the host organism.
- It should have a restriction site.
- It should have a selectable marker to screen recombinant organism.
- It should possess multiple cloning sites.
What is Bioprocess Engineering?
Bioprocess engineering is the multiplication of cells in the bioreactors. A large amount of culture is obtained in the process which produces a higher yield of the required protein. The products that are obtained are subjected to a series of processes. The products are purified by downstream processing and subjected to quality check before undergoing further trials. This process is used to manufacture antibiotics, vaccines and other therapeutic drugs.
Few Important Questions
- What are Bioreactors?
- What are Restriction enzymes?
- List out the Tools of Recombinant DNA Technology?
- What are the steps involved in recombinant DNA technology?
- Distinguish between the Plasmid DNA and Chromosomal DNA?
Learn more about Biotechnology, its principles and its process from the topics given below: