Why must a cell be made ‘competent’ in biotechnology experiments? How does calcium ion help in doing so?
In most biotechnology experiments, host cells are needed to be transformed with recombinant DNA. To fulfill this purpose, the cells are made competent so that they can take up the DNA molecule inside them. Treatment of bacterial cells with divalent cations such as calcium makes them competent and helps them to take up the DNA through the pores in the cell wall.