Discovery of recombineering

In a seminal paper published in 1998, Kenan Murphy deleted the bacterial recBCD genes, replaced them with the λ Red system, and used linear dsDNA to make gene replacements. These experiments used long, ~1kb, homologies but soon thereafter, Francis Stewart and colleagues demonstrated, using the RecET system, that only 40-60 base pair homologies are required for this type of recombination. We stumbled onto recombineering while doing totally unrelated experiments in the late 1990’s. Our efforts have been to understand and optimize the λ Red system in E. coli and demonstrate the power of oligo recombination.