The key difference between complementation and recombination is that complementation is the ability of two mutants in combination to restore a normal phenotype while recombination is the exchange of genetic material between chromosomes, resulting in physical alterations in chromosomes.
Complementation and recombination are two concepts that produce genetically different organisms. Complementation restores the normal phenotype when two mutants combine while recombination gives rise to an organism with altered a genetic makeup due to the exchange of genetic material between organisms.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Complementation
3. What is Recombination
4. Similarities Between Complementation and Recombination
5. Side by Side Comparison – Complementation vs Recombination in Tabular Form
What is Complementation?
Complementation is the process by which two mutants combine to restore the normal phenotype for a particular character. For example, two mutant strains can result in a wild type phenotype when mated due to complementation. Thus, wild type alleles express its phenotype in offspring due to complementation effect. Moreover, the importance of complementation lies in the determination of the position of the mutation. By doing a complementation test, it is possible to determine whether the mutation is present in the same gene or in a different gene. However, complementation is possible when the mutations are present in different genes.
Complementation further plays a role in determining the functionality of a particular pathway. Therefore, the phenomenon of complementation is useful to deduce the products of various biochemical pathways.
What is Recombination?
Recombination is the process of mixing genetic material between two normal organisms to produce a recombinant organism or a mutant. This mutant can be a beneficial or a harmful product. Moreover, recombination can be done deliberately to introduce positive characters to the new organism. In genetic recombination, the two parents contribute to form the mutant with altered genetic composition.
Recombination is a promising technique in producing genetically modified organisms. There are different techniques used in forming a recombinant organism. Microbial vector systems such as plasmids play a key role in recombination. In addition, bacteriophages are also used in genetic recombination. Furthermore, physical mutagens such as radiation, chemicals are also important in genetic recombination.
What are the Similarities Between Complementation and Recombination?
- Complementation and recombination produce organisms with altered genetic character.
- Furthermore, both of these use molecular techniques to identify recombinants.
What is the Difference Between Complementation and Recombination?
Complementation results in the wild type phenotype due to combining of two mutants while recombination results in a recombinant organism with an altered genome. Thus, the key difference between complementation and recombination is the outcome of each process.
The below infographic summarizes the difference between complementation and recombination.
Summary – Complementation vs Recombination
Complementation is the process where two genes or two organisms that are mutated complement each other and result in a genetically normal phenotype. However, the opposite takes place in recombination. In recombination, the two normal phenotype genes or organisms recombine to produce a genetically mutant organism. During recombination, the mutant can either contain harmful characters or result in beneficial characters. Moreover, complementation is a more efficient technique in comparison to recombination. Thus, this summarizes the difference between complementation and recombination.
1. Griffiths, Anthony JF. “Complementation.” An Introduction to Genetic Analysis. 7th Edition., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 1970, Available here.
2. “1.4: Complementation and Recombination.” Biology LibreTexts, Libretexts, 24 June 2019, Available here.
1. “Complementation” By Mcstrother – Own work. Moreover, this vector image includes elements that have been taken or adapted from this: Drosophila-drawing.svg (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Figure 17 02 01” By CNX OpenStax – (CC BY 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia