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Cloning DNA in Plasmids

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By fragmenting DNA of any origin (human, animal, or plant) and inserting it in the DNA of rapidly reproducing foreign cells, billions of copies of a single gene or DNA segment can be produced in a very short time. DNA to be cloned is inserted into a plasmid (a small, self-replicating circular molecule of DNA) that is separate from chromosomal DNA. When the recombinant plasmid is introduced into bacteria, the newly inserted segment will be replicated along with the rest of the plasmid.

Credit or Source: Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.


Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Genomics and Its Impact on Science and Society: A 2008 Primer, 2008. (Original version 1992, revised 2001 and 2008.) (website)

Prepared by the Biological and Environmental Research Information System, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and