Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Precise molecular surgery in the plant genome

Date:
April 24, 2012
Source:
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Summary:
Crop plants have always been adapted to the needs of man by breeding for them to carry more fruit, survive droughts, or resist pests. Green biotechnology now adds new tools to the classical breeding methods for a more rapid and efficient improvement of plant properties. The new biotechnological technique can more precisely and reliably install or modify genetic information in the plant genome.

Thale cress blossom: Common thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) is used as a model plant in many biotechnology experiments.
Credit: Photo: H. Puchta/ KIT

Crop plants have always been adapted to the needs of man by breeding for them to carry more fruit, survive droughts, or resist pests. Green biotechnology now adds new tools to the classical breeding methods for a more rapid and efficient improvement of plant properties. A biotechnological technique developed by KIT botanists to more precisely and reliably install or modify genetic information in the plant genome is now presented by the expert journal PNAS.

The new method is based on the natural repair mechanism of plants. So-called homologous recombination repairs the genome when the genome strands in the cell break. "Using an appropriate enzyme, i.e. molecular scissors, we first make a cut at the right point in the genome and then supply the necessary patch to repair this cut," says Friedrich Fauser from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, who is the first author of the PNAS publication. "A part of this patch is the new gene piece we want to install. The rest is done by the repair service of the cell."

Due to this trick, the method that is referred to as "in planta gene targeting" (IPGT) is highly reliable and the new genetic information is incorporated in the genome precisely at the point desired. In principle, IPGT may be applied to every plant. "This is a big advantage compared to conventional methods that work for certain plants only and produce a lot of rejects," explains Professor Holger Puchta, who holds the Chair for Molecular Biology and Biochemistry of Plants at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. "Thanks to appropriate molecular scissors and patches and the natural repair mechanism of the cell, IPGT is about 100 times more efficient than techniques used so far."

With their experiments on the model plant of thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana), the researchers of KIT, in cooperation with the company SunGene GmbH, a subsidiary of BASF Plant Science having its office at Gatersleben, have now succeeded in furnishing evidence of the fact that IPGT works in plants. "The next step towards broader application in biotechnolgoy will be the transfer of the principle to other plants and the development of appropriate scissors and patches," says Puchta. In this way, the favorable properties of wild species can be transferred rapidly to crop plants. The long-term objective is the optimum use of natural resources for the production of food and vegetable raw materials.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. F. Fauser, N. Roth, M. Pacher, G. Ilg, R. Sanchez-Fernandez, C. Biesgen, H. Puchta. In planta gene targeting. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1202191109

Cite This Page:

Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "Precise molecular surgery in the plant genome." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120424121742.htm>.
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. (2012, April 24). Precise molecular surgery in the plant genome. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120424121742.htm
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "Precise molecular surgery in the plant genome." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120424121742.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) A Harvard University study suggests monkeys can use symbols to perform basic math calculations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur on Monday when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Drake University hosts 35th annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) One Florida fisherman caught a 805-pound shark off the coast of Florida earlier this month. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins