We describe a system to generate cDNA or genomic libraries from DNA segments that have blunt termini. Background and rearrangement levels are low, but efficiencies are high and the procedural times very short. T4 ligase in the presence of polyethylene glycol produces high Mr oligomers of vector and insert. These concatemers are reduced to vector-insert monomers at a high frequency by subsequent cleavage with a restriction endonuclease, which recognises the insert rarely, if at all, and the vector once. The monomers are recircularised under standard ligation conditions prior to transformation. Thus insertion conditions are optimised independently of those for recircularisation. All reading frames for expression libraries are generated by short BAL 31 cleavage followed by the blunt-end cloning procedure. Similarly, genomic expression libraries can be made by BAL 31 or mung-bean nuclease treatment after cleavage with DNase I is the presence of Mn2+. The technique is suitable for any DNA segment that is blunt-ended or can be made so. When the vector is treated with alkaline phosphatase, recombinants are generated at a frequency greater than 90% and have single inserts. Yields are 3-5 X 10(6) colony-forming units per micrograms of insert.
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