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NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Biology Chapter 11 - Biotechnology: Principles and Processes

Aakash NCERT Solutions for Chapter 11 of Class 12 Biology deals in in-depth study of principles and processes involved in biotechnology. The solutions also explain the definition of biotechnology given by The European Federation of Biotechnology (EFB). In this chapter, you will be aware of the principles of biotechnology and its tools.



Q1. Can you list 10 recombinant proteins which are used in medical practice? Find out where they are used as therapeutics (use the internet).
Recombinant proteins are proteins produced as a result of recombinant DNA technology. In this technology, there is the transfer of some specific gene from one organism to another by using molecular tools such as biological vectors, restriction enzymes etc. Some of the proteins produced through RDT and are being used for therapeutic uses are as follows.


Name of the recombinant


Therapeutic use of the

recombinant protein



To treat cystic fibrosis


Antithrombin III

To prevent the formation of

the blood clot



To treat type I diabetes




Used for chronic hepatitis C


Interferon AZA

Used for herpes and virus


Coagulation factor VIII

To treat haemophilia A


Coagulation factor IX

To treat haemophilia B


Interferon B

To treat multiple sclerosis


Human growth hormone


To promote growth   humans


Tissue plasminogen


To treat the myocardial


Q2. Make a chart (with diagrammatic representation) showing a restriction enzyme, the substrate DNA on which it acts, the site at which it cuts DNA and the product it produces.
The following chart shows the action of the restriction enzyme EcoRI, the substrate DNA on which it acts and the site where it cuts

Q4. What would be the molar concentration of human DNA in a human cell? Consult Your Teacher.
The molar concentration of DNA in human cells will be the total no. of chromosomes multiplied by 10 23 . Hence, the molar concentration DNA in each diploid cell in humans is 2.77 × 10 23 moles.

Q5. Do eukaryotic cells have restriction endonucleases? Justify your answer.
No, eukaryotic cells do not possess restriction enzymes. All the restriction endonucleases have been developed and isolated from different strains of bacteria. The bacteria possess these restriction endonucleases as a defence mechanism to restrict the growth of viruses. Their own DNA remains safe from these enzymes because it is methylated. The eukaryotic cell has RNA interference and institutes defense mechanisms against foreign DNA. Thus, eukaryotic cells do not have restriction endonuclease.

Q6. Besides better aeration and mixing properties, what other advantages do stirred tank bioreactors have over shake flasks?Answer:
The advantages of stirred tank bioreactors over shake flasks are as follows:
1. Stirred tank bioreactors are utilised for large-scale production of biotechnological     products,unlike the shake flask method which is used for small-scale production of products.
2. In a stirred tank bioreactor, a small  sample can be taken out for testing.
3. Stirred tank bioreactors have foam breakers to control the foam.
4.Stirred tank bioreactors have temperature and pH control systems.

Q7. Collect 5 examples of palindromic DNA sequences by consulting your teacher. Better try to create a palindromic sequence by following the base-pair rule.
Palindromic sequences in the DNA molecule refer to groups of bases forming the same sequence when read either backwardly or forwardly. The recognition sites of restriction endonucleases are palindromic sequences. Five examples of palindromic DNA sequences are given below;





Q8. Can you recall meiosis and indicate at what  stage a recombinant DNA is made?

In meiosis,during the pachytene stage of Prophase I, crossing-over takes place and recombinant DNA is formed by combining portions of male and female DNA.

Q9. Can you think about how a reporter enzyme can be used to monitor transformation of host cells by foreign DNA in addition to a selectable marker?
In recombinant DNA technology selection of transformed and non transformed cells can be done using reporter genes that encode for reporter enzymes. During the RDT experiment, the foreign gene is joined with a reporter gene. The reporter gene should be such that it produces visible expression. For example, the Lac Z gene which codes for enzyme beta-galactosidase is used as a reporter gene. The activity of this gene is not found in transformed cells as the product formed by its catalyzation is not formed in transformed cells and bacterial colonies appear white. In non-transformed cells, this gene shows its activity and the catalysed product is formed, as a result of this, bacterial colonies appear blue. Thus, reporter enzymes can be used to monitor the transformation of host cells by foreign DNA in addition to a selectable marker.

Q10. Describe briefly the following: 
(a) Origin of replication
Origin of replication- This refers to the DNA sequence, from where replication of DNA starts. By linking a DNA sequence with the origin of replication, it can be allowed to replicate in the host cells. Origin of replication also controls the copy number of linked DNA sequences.

(b) Bioreactor
Bioreactors - These are large vessels (100-1000 litres) that are used for large-scale production of biotechnological products such as proteins, enzymes etc. from raw materials. In a bioreactor, optimum conditions such as temperature, pH, vitamins, oxygen, salts etc. re m int ined. Stirred bioreactors are the most commonly used bioreactors. Stirred bioreactors can be simple stirred tank bioreactors or sparged tank bioreactors.

(c) Downstream processing:
Downstream processing- The process of separation and purification of biotechnological products is called downstream processing. The processes in downstream processing vary depending on the quality of the product. Before the release of the product, it undergoes clinical trials and quality control testing.

Q11. Explain briefly :
(a) PCR

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)- The molecular technique to amplify a gene and obtain its several copies is referred to as PCR. The process of PCR has certain requirements i.e. a thermostable enzyme called Taq polymerase ( obtained from Thermus aquaticus ), primers ( short stretches of DNA ), dNTPs, a template strand etc. The process of PCR takes place in these steps.
1.Denaturation- The double- stranded DNA  helix is opened up by breaking their H-bonds at high temperature.
2.Annealing- The primers  are allowed to hybridise to complementary regions of DNA.This step takes place at 45-55 C temperature.
3.Extension- The primers are extended with the help of Taq polymerase enzyme and the cycle is repeated several times to obtain the desired number of copies.

(b) Restriction enzymes and DNA
Restriction enzymes and DNA- Restriction enzymes are those enzymes which cut DNA at particular places. Restriction enzyme first scans the DNA template and looks for its recognition site. Once it finds the recognition site, it binds at that region of DNA and cuts each of the two strands in their sugar-phosphate backbone.The sites at which restriction enzymes cut DNA are called as recognition sites of DNA. These are palindromic sequences i.e. they read similarly from the backward and forward direction.

(c) Chitinase:
Chitinase - The enzyme that catalyses the breakdown of chitin polysaccharide which is usually found in the cell wall of fungi. Chitinase is mainly used during DNA isolation from fungi.

Q12. Discuss with your teacher and find out.How to distinguish between
(a) Plasmid DNA and Chromosomal DNA
The differences between plasmid DNA and chromosomal DNA are as follows:


Plasmid DNA

Chromosomal DNA


Circular, extrachromosomal


DNA which is capable of self-


replication and is found in


bacteria is called plasmid DNA.

The entire DNA (excluding


extrachromosomal DNA) present


in the cell constitutes


chromosomal DNA


It is found only in bacteria

It is found in both bacteria and other eukaryotic cells.

(b) RNA and DNA
The differences between RNA and DNA are as follows:





RNA contains ribose sugar.

DNA contains   deoxyribose




In RNA, adenine and uracil are


found pyrimidines.

In DNA, adenine and Thymine are


found as pyrimidines.


It has catalytic properties and is


less stable than DNA.

DNA is non-catalytic and is


stable than RNA.

(c) Exonuclease and Endonuclease
The differences between exonuclease and endonuclease are as follows:



These are nuclease (enzymes)


that cut DNA from its ends.

These are nucleases that cut DNA from internal sites on DNA.

Also See
Chapter 1 Reproduction in Organisms Chapter 2 Sexual Reproduction in Flowering Plants Chapter 3 Human Reproduction
Chapter 4 Reproductive Health Chapter 5 Principles of Inheritance and Variation Chapter 6 Molecular Basis of Inheritance
Chapter 7 Evolution Chapter 8 Human Health and Disease Chapter 9 Strategies for Enhancement in Food Reproduction
Chapter 10 Microbes in Human Welfare Solutions Chapter 11 Biotechnology: Principles and Processes Chapter 12 Biotechnology and its Applications
Chapter 13 Organisms and Populations Chapter 14 Ecosystems Solutions Chapter 15 Biodiversity and Conservation
Chapter 16 Environmental Issues

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