Monday, May 26, 2008

BAC: Super-Sized Inserts

Bacterial Artificial Chromosomes (BAC) have been developed to hold much larger pieces of DNA than a plasmid can. BAC vectors were originally created from part of an unusual plasmid present in some bacteria called the F’ plasmid.

The F’ plasmid allows bacteria to have “sex” (well, sort of: F’ helps bacteria give its genome to another bacteria but this only happens rarely when bacteria are under a lot of stress). F’ had been studied extensively and it was found that it could hold up to a million basepairs of DNA from another bacteria. Also, F’ has origins of replication and bacteria have a way to control how F’ is copied.

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