AAT Bioquest

Why are plasmids used as vectors in genetic engineering?

Posted June 22, 2020


Plasmids possess several key features that make genetic engineering more productive.

  • Plasmids are extra-chromosomal, which makes it easier to introduce foreign DNA into a cell than integrating DNA into chromosome.
  • Plasmids are self-replicating, driven by an origin-of-replication.
  • Plasmids are small in size, making it easy to work with and transform into their host.
  • Plasmids usually contain antibiotic resistance genes, enabling the selection for transformed hosts.
Additional resources

Helixyte™ Green *10,000X Aqueous PCR Solution*

6-ROX glycine *25 uM fluorescence reference solution for PCR reactions*

Perdew, G. H., Heuvel, J. P. V., & Peters, J. M. (2008). Regulation of gene expression. Springer Science & Business Media.

Lodish, H., Berk, A., Kaiser, C. A., Krieger, M., Scott, M. P., Bretscher, A., ... & Matsudaira, P. (2008). Molecular cell biology. Macmillan.