Molecular cloning is a set of methods, which are used to insert recombinant DNA into a vector - a carrier of DNA molecules that will replicate recombinant DNA fragments in host organisms. The DNA fragment, which may be a gene, can be isolated from a prokaryotic or eukaryotic specimen. Following isolation of the fragment of interest, or insert, both the vector and insert must be cut with restriction enzymes and purified. The purified pieces are joined together though a technique called ligation. The enzyme that catalyzes the ligation reaction is known as ligase.