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functional complementation [Jul. 13th, 2009|01:55 am]
Biology Help


could someone explain this to me?

I tried to google functional complementation but there was no real explanation just articles. 

I don't exactly know what it is or what it does or when one would use it. 


[User Picture]From: graycie23
2009-07-13 01:30 pm (UTC)
Is this the genetics thing? If it is, this is how I understand it:

An organism with a genetic mutation - I think they do this with yeasts and bacterias and stuff, cuz they're easy to manipulate - can't function.

Say you have a phe-minus bacteria - that is, a bacteria that can't make its own phenylalanine. It can't survive in an environment without supplements.

If you mate the bacteria with another strain that has a phe gene on its plasmid, then when the plasmid gets replicated and transferred to the dysfunctional strain, the phe-minus strain will be able to survive, because even though it has no inherent phenylalanine capability, the plasmid complements (makes whole/completes) the organism's genetic needs and now it can be functional.

Does that make sense?
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[User Picture]From: graycie23
2009-07-13 01:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, and they use it in labs when they want to see if genes have been incorporated into a new organism. If they're trying to put a specific gene into a bacterial genome, they will grow a strain that has the gene-of-interest and another gene, like one for antibiotic resistance or amino acid capability that is missing in the strain they're starting with.

When they add the new genetic info to the bacteria, they will be able to find the bacteria that were successfully 'innoculated' because they will now have this new capability to survive where they might not have been able to before.

I can explain it way better in pictures, but am very bad at drawing in livejournal comments
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