Concept

Vector (molecular biology)

Summary
In molecular cloning, a vector is any particle (e.g., plasmids, cosmids, Lambda phages) used as a vehicle to artificially carry a foreign nucleic sequence – usually DNA – into another cell, where it can be replicated and/or expressed. A vector containing foreign DNA is termed recombinant DNA. The four major types of vectors are plasmids, viral vectors, cosmids, and artificial chromosomes. Of these, the most commonly used vectors are plasmids. Common to all engineered vectors are an origin of replication, a multicloning site, and a selectable marker. The vector itself generally carries a DNA sequence that consists of an insert (in this case the transgene) and a larger sequence that serves as the "backbone" of the vector. The purpose of a vector which transfers genetic information to another cell is typically to isolate, multiply, or express the insert in the target cell. All vectors may be used for cloning and are therefore cloning vectors, but there are also vectors designed specia
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