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DNA Libraries

The Importance Of Vectors

Several types of DNA libraries have been developed for specific purposes, but all share some common features. The DNA fragments that make up the library are attached to other DNA sequences that are used as "handles" to maintain the fragments. These "handles," called vectors, allow the DNA to be replicated and stored, typically within model organisms such as yeast or bacteria.

Different types of vectors can be used to store DNA fragments of different lengths. For example, plasmid vectors can store small fragments (from a few hundred bases up to ten or twenty thousand bases of sequence), while viral vectors, or viral-plasmid hybrids such as cosmids, can store up to fifty thousand bases, and yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) vectors can store hundreds of thousands of bases. In general, plasmid-based vectors are the easiest to manipulate but store the smallest fragments. They are commonly used for applications that involve complex manipulations, such as cloning or gene expression, but that require only small DNA fragments (e.g., cDNA libraries, as described below).

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaGenetics in Medicine - Part 1DNA Libraries - The Importance Of Vectors, Artificial Chromosome Vectors And Genomic Libraries, Complementary Dna Libraries