Reverse transcriptase

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Reverse Transcriptase is an enzyme which copies single stranded mRNA into duplex cDNA (complementary DNA).

Retro viruses have a genome made up of mRNA. They utilise reverse transcriptase to reverse transcribe their mRNA into cDNA. This is so that the viral genome is incorporated into the genome of the host for viral reproduction.

The single strand of mRNA acts as a template which the reverse transcriptase enzyme binds to and from which the cDNA is created [1].

  1. Hartl, DL. and Jones EW.(2009:pg439) Genetics: Analysis Of Genes And Genomes, Seventh Edition, London: Jones and Bartlett
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