The technology that uses living organisms to produce and improve desired products or to manipulate the environment is Biotechnology.


The use of biological organisms or process in manufacturing industries. Bacteria, yeast, algae, the calls and tissues of higher plants or of the enzymes isolated from the organisms, provide the active ingredients for new industries and for the replacement of existing chemicals or mechanical process with new or improved industrial microbiological processes.

Biotechnological Branches

Tissue culture technology, Pharmaceutical technology, Recombinant DNA technology, Agricultural biotechnology, Food biotechnology, Fermentation Technology, Mining and Metal biotechnology, Environmental biotechnology, Industrial biotechnology.

Important Scopes

Enhance food production, raise disease resistant high yielding varieties of crops, introduce harmless fertilizers, introduce biocides in agriculture, preserve germplasm of plants, animals and microbes, produce pharmaceutical products, produce biofuels, use of various microorganisms in food making and preservation, minimize pollution hazards, employ microorganisms in the extraction of minerals from ore.

DNA fingerprinting - one of the application of biotechnology

DNA- Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid is a major genetic element present in the nuclei of eukaryotic cells and in the protoplasm of prokaryotic cells.It is made up of nucleotides.

DNA fingerprinting is also known as DNA profiling or molecular fingerprinting.To identify the individuals according to their DNA printing pattern is DNA fingerprinting.It is used to get the information about the genetic relationship of an individual.

Satellite DNA are unique to an individual.The DNAs of different individuals are hybridized with a single type of radiolabelled probe DNA by using southern blotting technique.Then an autoradiogram is formulated to get the DNA pattern .The bands present in the DNA pattern helps in distinguishing the individual.

Satellite DNA is noncoding region of eukaryotic cells also called as mini-satellite.It is rich in GC pairs and 9-40 bp in size.

DNA fingerprinting involves the steps

* The cell DNA is obtained from blood or semen clotted on cloths, vaginal swabs taken from rape victims,hairs or fresh cells or blood.

* The cell DNAs are separately cut with a restriction enzyme as a result minisatellites get released.

* Now the DNA of the resource and the source is subjected to electrophoresis.Here the minisatellites are separated according to their length.

* The separated DNA fragments are placed over a gel and get transferred to a nylon membrane or a nitrocellulose filter paper.The process is southern blotting.

* At high temperature the nitrocellulose filter paper having DNA segments is dried.The process is packing.

* Now the DNA probes are selected. Such as probes constructed by Alec Jeffereys, BKm probe from minisatellite DNA of Bungarus fasciatus (banded krait).

* For the denaturation of duplex DNA fragnments, nitrocellulose filter is placed in an alkali solution.After this it is placed in the hybridization solution containing the probe DNA which binds with appropriate minisatellites and forn duplex DNAs.

* The filter is washed and X-Ray film is placed over the filter for about 3 hours.The radioactive probes makes dark spots on the film and so an irregular pattern of dark spots develops on the X-ray film, for every DNA sample.This is DNA print of the individual. All the DNA prints on a X-ray film collectively known as DNA fingerprint pattern.

*In the case of rape and murder, all the bands of seminal DNAor hairs-DNA should match perfectly with DNA print of the accused. If the match is 100% then the individual is found to be victim.

For determining the parentage of a child, 50% of bands in the child's DNA print should match with those of the father's DNA print and rest of the bands should match with those of the mother's DNA print.

DNA fingerprinting is used to settle disputed parentage, murder cases, rape cases and to analyse the genetics of various organisms.

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