Key Difference – Transfection vs Transduction
In biotechnology and genetic engineering, foreign genes are introduced into genomes of the organisms with the objective of improving characteristics of the organisms. There are physical, chemical and biological methods available to introduce foreign DNA into host cells. Transfection and transduction are two types of gene transferring methods used in molecular biology. The key difference between transfection and transduction is that transfection is a non-viral based gene transfer technique which uses chemical and physical methods whereas transduction is a viral-based gene transfer system. Transfection is facilitated by a chemical or non-chemical carrier while transduction is carried out by a viral particle.
What is Transfection?
Transfection is a gene transferring method which involves non-viral based vectors for gene introduction. Transfection can be carried out using chemical carriers such as calcium phosphate, cationic polymers, liposomes or using non-chemical methods such as electroporation, microprojectile bombardment, etc. The principal behind the transfection is increasing the permeability of cell membranes to permit entering of foreign DNA inside the cells. It is done by opening the transient pores located in the cell membrane.
Liposomes are small vesicles with a membrane made from phospholipid molecules similar to the cell membrane. They can be easily merged with cell membranes due to its composition. Liposomes are used to deliver foreign DNA into cells due to this easiness of merging with cell membranes. Microprojectile bombardment is another transfection method which involves high-velocity gold or tungsten particles coated with foreign DNA to deliver into cells. Electroporation uses an electrical field to open transient pores and increase the cell membrane permeability to uptake foreign DNA. Calcium phosphate nanoparticles are also used in transfection to deliver foreign DNA into eukaryotic cells.
What is Transduction?
Viruses are intracellular parasites which have the natural ability to insert their genetic material into host cells without any support through infection. Biotechnological approaches have explored this ability for transferring foreign DNA with specific genes into host organisms. This process is called transduction. Therefore, transduction can be defined as a technique which uses a virus or a viral vector for introducing foreign DNA into host cells. Among these viruses, bacteriophages are popular in transduction. Bacteriophages are a group of viruses which infect bacteria. They are able to mobilize bacterial genetic materials from one bacterium to another bacterium through infection. T4 and Phage lamda are popular for gene transfer techniques.
Transduction is a common mode of genetic material transfer among bacteria. It occurs via lytic or lysogenic cycles. In lytic cycle, bacterial cells disrupt and release new phages with integrated genomes to outside. In lysogenic cycle, phage genetic material integrates into bacterial chromosomes and become dormant for several generations.
What is the difference between Transfection and Transduction?
Transfection vs Transduction
|Transfection is a tool of gene transferring that uses chemical or nonchemical carriers in eukaryotic cells.||Transduction is a tool of gene transferring that uses a virus or viral vector commonly among bacteria.|
|It is done by opening the transient pores in the cell membranes.||The virus infects the host cell and inserts its genetic material and recombined fragment of DNA into bacterial genome.|
|Nature of the Method|
|Transfection can be performed using chemical and physical methods.||Transduction is a biological method of gene transfer.|
|Liposome transfection, electroporation, microprojectile bombardment are examples of transfection processes.||Generalized and specialized are two types of transduction methods.|
Summary – Transfection vs Transduction
Transfection and transduction are common tools used in Biotechnology to introduce foreign genes into host cells. Transfection is carried out using nonviral-based systems such as chemical and nonchemical carriers. Transduction is a tool which introduces foreign genes or DNA into host cells using viral-based systems. During transfection, DNA is deliberately introduced into host cells while transduction is naturally performed by viruses. This is the difference between transfection and transduction. Both processes are important in gene therapy.
1. Griffiths, Anthony JF. “Transduction.” An Introduction to Genetic Analysis. 7th edition. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 23 Mar. 2017
2. Kim, Tae Kyung, and James H. Eberwine. “Mammalian cell transfection: the present and the future.” Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. Springer-Verlag, Aug. 2010. Web. 23 Mar. 2017
3. Salimzadeh, Loghman, Mansooreh Jaberipour, Ahmad Hosseini, and Abbas Ghaderi. “Non-Viral Transfection Methods Optimized for Gene Delivery to a Lung Cancer Cell Line.” Avicenna Journal of Medical Biotechnology. Avicenna Research Institute, 2013. Web. 23 Mar. 2017
1. “Artificial Bacterial Transformation” By Amunroe13 – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “General transduction miguelferig” By Miguelferig – Own work (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia