Researchers from the University of Bayreuth discovered a new cloning method that can be used in many areas of biology, biochemistry, and biotechnology. This method is a lot faster when compared to others, and it is less expensive as well.
In the past, screening of bacterial colonies was obligatory, but it is no longer needed with the help of the new method. Prof. Dr. Stefan Schuster led the team of researchers from Bayreuth. Their work managed to make this screening redundant.
Up until now, all the methods used for molecular cloning needed to incorporate the DNA fragments into larger carrier molecules, which are the plasmid vectors. Then bacteria were made to take up the vectors that bear the DNA fragments.
The Bayreuth’s new cloning method
Researchers used a plasmid as the vector for the new cloning method, and it contained a toxic gene. When DNA fragments were incorporated into the plasmid, that gene was replaced. If an E. Coli bacterium takes up this plasmid, the poisonous effects sets in, which interferes with the cell division of the bacterium. Therefore, just the E. Coli bacteria that contain the DNA will form colonies. That means that the screening process is no longer needed.
“The reason why our new cloning system is so efficient is that the selection of the bacteria equipped with the cloned DNA occurs reliably and all by itself. The multiplied plasmids can then be isolated from these bacteria and used to analyze the function of the cloned DNA, or as the case may be, deployed in the biotechnological production of proteins,” says Bayreuth biologist Dr. David Richter, lead author of the study.
More than that, the scientists behind this new cloning method optimized an extract derived from the E. Coli bacteria cells in order to make it “tie” together multiple DNA fragments.