Bacteriophage and Viral Cloning Vectors
Viruses and bacteriophages (the viruses that infect bacteria) provided vectors for some of the first cloning experiments, and they continue to be used in a variety of applications. The most important bacteriophages have been the filamentous phages (especially M13), bacteriophage lambda, and bacteriophage P1. In addition, vectors such as phagemids and cosmids have been constructed that combine features of both plasmids and phage. A large variety of vectors can be used to generate infectious recombinant viruses for use in eukaryotic cells. These include viruses derived from human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), the causative agent of AIDS.
Some of the earliest cloning experiments made use of bacteriophages or viruses to carry recombinant DNA molecules, introduce them into cells, and enable the production of new phage or viral particles containing copies of the recombinant DNA. Since then, many cloning vectors derived from natural bacteriophages and viruses...