How can bacterial transformation be used in technology?

1 Answer
Aug 4, 2014

Today, bacterial transformation is one of the most widely carried out procedures in molecular biology but not necessarily found in natural environments.

Bacterial transformation occurs when bacteria take up and incorporate of genetic material (exogenous DNA) from its surroundings and taken up through the cell membrane and incorporate it into it's own DNA.

In doing this, only a few bacteria will take up the genes that are of interest. Included with the gene that codes for the protein, it also will include a gene for antibiotic resistance.

To make a pure culture, an antibiotic will be added to the culture which normally the bacteria are sensitive to. All will die off except the ones that are "transformed". These will be allowed to grown large amounts.

Transformation evolved as a nutrient-uptake system, especially because unrelated DNA is abundant in the environments of many naturally transformable bacteria. New information suggests that the uptake of DNA from dead bacteria is most likely for use as "food". The idea that the uptake produced in natural environments is primarily to change the up taking bacteria's DNA by adding genes is not usual.

The proteins of interest include insulin, human growth hormone, digestive hormones plus plant hormones. These when made in great amounts can be used in technology.