I already know about recombinases (specifically excisionases), but was wondering if there were other mechanisms present.

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    – L.B.
    Mar 4, 2015 at 0:23
  • $\begingroup$ The absolute standard way has to be PCR. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymerase_chain_reaction Design primers for each end of a known sequence, provide DNA containing that sequence, and (hey presto!) amplify the length between the primers. $\endgroup$
    – Teige
    Mar 4, 2015 at 11:33
  • $\begingroup$ If you're asking about how sequences are excised in nature, an interesting case is the CRISPR-Cas viral defence system of bacteria, where sequences adjacent to a particular "handle" or "signal" in the viral genome are excised and added to an array in the bacterial genome which acts as a memory for immunity. I don't know how the mechanism works! $\endgroup$
    – Teige
    Mar 4, 2015 at 11:40
  • $\begingroup$ What about endonucleases? $\endgroup$
    – rhill45
    Mar 4, 2015 at 15:43
  • $\begingroup$ I know about the Cas9 mechanism as well. I guess my question was more oriented towards the "cutting out" of a sequence of DNA and then a religation of the two flanking ends. Cas9 does the first part, but not the second part, while recombinases do both. $\endgroup$ Mar 5, 2015 at 20:00

1 Answer 1


Genome editing techniques like CRISPR-Cas and TALEN use non-specific recombinases coupled to a DNA-recognizing part that can be designed to be specific for any stretch of sequence, as it is constructed out of single zinc-finger 'modules' that each specifically bind a couple of nucleotides (one nucleotide each in the case of TALEN).


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