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What's the difference between a plasmid and a vector?

A plasmid is a small circular DNA element, which is capable to carry several genes. Plasmid size can be varied from less than 1.0 kb to more than 200 kb.

A vector refers to a self-replicating DNA fragment, which can be used to link with another DNA fragment, creating recombinant DNA. The recombinant DNA can be applied in medicine, biotechnology and other areas.

Vector can be derived from a plasmid whereas a plasmid naturally occurs in bacterial cells; some vectors can be used in recombinant DNA, whereas all plasmids may not be used directly in recombinant DNA technology; Vector is artificially incorporated into a cell, whereas plasmid is naturally occurring in a cell.


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