Download Biotechnology : Academic Cell Update Edition by David P Clark; Nanette J Pazdernik PDF

By David P Clark; Nanette J Pazdernik

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For example, the plasmids of E. coli and yeast are genetic elements that cannot produce their own energy and rely on the host cell to replicate their genome. They cannot survive outside a host cell. These traits qualify plasmids as gene creatures. Like viruses and satellite viruses, plasmids are replicons, that is, they have sufficient information in their genome to direct their own replication. Plasmids may confer positive traits to the host. For example, plasmids can provide antibacterial enzymes, such as bacteriocins, that help their host compete with other bacteria for nutrients (see earlier discussion).

The polytene chromosomes have characteristic banding patterns, with each section of each chromosome being unique. The banding pattern allows some mutations to be localized. For example, a deletion that causes white eyes (in the adult) would alter the banding pattern on the corresponding polytene chromosome. Thus the mutation can easily be mapped to its chromosome location. The true sexual reproduction of Drosophila allows genetic manipulations, and the complex alterations that occur in the pupal to adult fly metamorphosis are two key characteristics that are studied by researchers.

In fact, viruses may be the key to accomplishing gene therapy in humans also. Viruses are used as vehicles to inject foreign DNA into a host cell. Transposons are also used to deliver new genes into the host DNA. Plasmids are used for the same purpose, but do not work in higher organisms and, therefore, are restricted to cultured cells, yeast, and bacteria. The use of gene creatures and model organisms is key to biotechnology research. end-of-Chapter Questions 1. Which statement best describes the central dogma of genetics?

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