Recombinant DNA Technology

Series of procedures that are used to recombine DNA segments

What is rDNA?

  • rDNA stands for recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid.
  • Also known as "chimera," rDNA is the man made combination of two separate strands of DNA.
  • The most common recombinant process combines the DNA of separate organisms.
  • Alters genetic make up by adding DNA or change the DNA that's already there.

How is rDNA made?

It is made in the following three ways:

  • Transformation
  • Phage Introduction
  • Non-Bacterial Transformation

To learn more about each process in which rDNA is made click on here.

The purpose of rDNA Technology

  • rDNA is used for the purposes of producing insulin, genetically modified food, vaccines (such as Hepatitis B), pharmaceuticals, better crops, and prevention and cure of sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis.
For more information on how insulin is produced through rDNA technology click here.

process of rdna production

First rDNA was created in 1972, when Paul Berg took DNA fragments from two different viruses and joined them together with restriction enzyme and ligase. The restriction enzyme cuts the DNA at a specific sequences. Two separate DNA molecules cut with the same restriction enzyme can be joined together at the cut ends by the enzyme ligase.


  • Medical benefits
-Production of insulin for type 1 diabetics

-Production of vaccines for hepatitis, herpes, influenza, etc.

-Production of interferon drug used for treatment of lymphoma and myelogenous leukemia.

  • Agricultural Benefits
-Created insect resistant for crops without the need of chemical herbicides

-Treatments for crops to survive severe weather conditions and crop-destroying viruses

-Genetically modified rice to help with malnutrition in Asia


  • Health Concerns
-Long term effects on humans are unknown

-Health risks, such as cancer is a possibility

  • Ethical Concerns
-Where human DNA should go and the effects of transferring human DNA into nonhuman organisms (making them partly human), and the evolution of those organisms.