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BIOL 240
Josh Neufeld

Fundamentals of Microbiology Biology 140 Course notes Dr Josh D Neufeld Topic 11Learning ObjectivesTo become familiar with the purpose and function of restriction modification systems in microorganisms as well as specific tools and techniques in molecular biology Microbial cells often take up foreign DNA from the environment or are injected with DNA by bacteriophage Some of this DNA could potentially harm the cell especially if it encodes functions that are detrimental to cellular metabolism Many prokaryotes are able to deal with foreign DNA by recognizing it as foreign and destroying it How do these cells recognize and destroy foreign DNA They use what are called restrictionmodification systems Incoming foreign DNA is destroyed by restriction enzymes which cleave DNA at sites with specific DNA sequence often palindromes creating a doublestranded break How is the restriction enzyme prevented from cleaving the cells own DNA The corresponding modifying enzyme methylates the DNA that is synthesized in that
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