A type of recombination catalyzed by a site-specific recombinase (q.v.), in which there is exchange of genetic material between two short, defined DNA segments containing only a small region of homology. This process involves breakage and reformation of specific phosphodiester bonds within the DNA targets, and does not require DNA synthesis or energy from a nucleotide cofactor. Recombination between inverted repeats results in inversion of a DNA segment, between repeat sequences on two DNA molecules in their cointegration, and between repeats on one DNA molecule in the excision of a DNA segment. The integration of lambda phage into the bacterial genome and its excision, and FLP/FRT recombination (q.v.), are examples of processes involving site-specific recombination. Compare with homologous recombination.
Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.