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Transgenic Plants.

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Presentation on theme: "Transgenic Plants."— Presentation transcript:

1 Transgenic Plants

2 How To Make A Transgenic Plant?
Prepare tissue for transformation Leaf, germinating seed, immature embryos Tissue must be capable of developing into normal plants Introduce DNA Locate genes for plant traits Introduction into cell Culture plant tissue Develop shoots Develop Roots Field test the plants Multiple sites, multiple years

3 Introducing the Gene or Developing Transgenics
Steps Create transformation cassette Introduce and select for transformants

4 Locating Genes for Plant Traits
Identifying and locating genes for agriculturally important traits is the most limiting step. Little is known about the specific genes required to enhance yield potential, improve stress tolerance, modify chemical properties of the harvested product, or otherwise affect plant characters. For a gene to be used as transgene, following must be known How the gene is regulation in the cell What other effects it might have on the plant, and How it interacts with other genes active in the same biochemical pathway.

5 Designing Genes for Insertion
Once a gene has been isolated and cloned (amplified in a bacterial vector), it must undergo several modifications before it can be effectively inserted into a plant. Simplified representation of a constructed transgene, containing necessary components for successful integration and expression.

6 Transformation Cassettes
Contains 1. Gene of interest The coding region and its controlling elements 2. Selectable marker Distinguishes transformed/untransformed plants 3. Insertion sequences Aids Agrobacterium insertion

7 Delivering the Gene to the Plant
Two major delivery methods Agrobacterium Tissue culture required to generate transgenic plants Gene Gun

8 Transforming Plants Agrobacterium method
Use bacterial strain Agrobacterium tumificiens (soil-dwelling bacteria that has the ability to infect plant cells with a piece of its DNA) Successful transformation in tomato, cotton, tobacco Preferable to the gene gun, because of the greater frequency of single-site insertions of the foreign DNA, making it easier to monitor. Gene Gun method (microprojectile bombardment or biolistics). Useful in transforming monocot species like corn and rice.

9 Agrobacterium mediated infection
Cell contains chromosome & a Ti (tumor-inducing) plasmid. The Ti plasmid contains a stretch of DNA termed T-DNA (~20 kb long) that is transferred to the plant cell in the infection process. a series of vir (virulence) genes that direct the infection process. A tumefaciens can only infect a plant through wounds. In response to wound signals, the vir genes of become activated and direct the transfer of the T-DNA from the Ti plasmid to the plant's chromosome. Transgene is inserted between the T-DNA border regions

10 Agroinoculation


12 Selection and Regeneration
Selection of successfully transformed tissues. Following the gene insertion process, plant tissues are transferred to a selective medium containing an antibiotic or herbicide, depending on which selectable marker was used. Only plants expressing the selectable marker gene will survive, and it is assumed that these plants will also possess the transgene of interest. When grown on selective media, only plant tissues that have successfully integrated the transgene construct will survive.

13 Regeneration of whole plants
To obtain whole plants from transgenic tissues such as immature embryos, they are grown under controlled environmental conditions in a series of media containing nutrients and hormones. Once whole plants are generated and produce seed, evaluation of the progeny begins. This regeneration step has been a stumbling block in producing transgenic plants in many species, but specific varieties of most crops can now be transformed and regenerated.


15 The Next Test Is The Field
Herbicide Resistance Non-transgenics Transgenics

16 Some Achievements Improved Nutritional Quality
Rice with beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A Insect Resistance Bacillus thuringiensis is a bacterium that is pathogenic for a number of insect pests. Its lethal effect is mediated by a protein toxin it produces. The toxin gene can be introduced directly into the genome of the plant where it is expressed and provides protection against insect pests of the plant. Disease Resistance Genes that provide resistance against plant viruses have been successfully introduced into such crop plants as tobacco, tomatoes, and potatoes.

17 Next Generation of Ag Biotech Products
Golden Rice – increased Vitamin A content (but not without controversy) transgene = three pathway enzymes Golden rice is enriched for vitamin A. The controversy surrounds the actual utility of the product. Some data suggest the child would have to significantly increase their rice intact of rice for vitamin deficiencies to be alleviated. Because of this knowledge the biotech industry is being accused of promoting a consumer-friendly product only for publicity purposes. The white mold disease is associated with elevated levels of oxalic acid. Resistance is provided by inserting a gene whose product breaks down oxalic acid. Sunflower – white mold resistance transgene = oxalate oxidase from wheat

18 Insect Resistance Insect resistant cotton – Bt toxin kills the
cotton boll worm transgene = Bt protein Insect resistant corn – Bt toxin kills the European corn borer Normal Transgenic

19 Disease Resistance

20 Some Achievements Cont…
Herbicide Resistance. Genes for resistance to some of the newer herbicides have been introduced into some crop plants and enable them to thrive even when exposed to the weed killer. Effect of the herbicide bromoxynil on tobacco plants transformed with a bacterial gene whose product breaks down bromoxynil.

21 Virus resistance - papya resistant to
papaya ringspot virus transgene = virus coat protein Herbicide resistant crops Now: soybean, corn, canola Coming: sugarbeet, lettuce, strawberry alfalfa, potato, wheat transgene = modified phosphinothricin-N acetyltransferase

22 Some Achievements Cont…
Salt Tolerance A large fraction of the world's irrigated crop land is so laden with salt that it cannot be used to grow most important crops. Transgenic tomatoes have been developed that grow well in saline soils. The transgene was a highly-expressed sodium/proton antiport pump that sequestered excess sodium in the vacuole of leaf cells. There was no sodium buildup in the fruit. Transgenes Encoding Antisense RNA (e.g. the Flavr Savr tomato) Transgenic transcribes into an antisense RNA complementary to the mRNA for an enzyme involved in ethylene production. These tomatoes make only 10% of the normal amount of the enzyme. The goal of this work was to provide supermarket tomatoes with something closer to the appearance and taste of tomatoes harvested when ripe.

23 Some Achievements Cont…
"Terminator" Genes This term is used (by opponents of the practice) for transgenes introduced into crop plants to make them produce sterile seeds. Biopharmaceuticals The genes for proteins to be used in human (and animal) medicine can be inserted into plants and expressed by them. Advantages: Glycoproteins can be made (bacteria like E. coli cannot do this). Virtually unlimited amounts can be grown in the field rather than in expensive fermentation tanks. There is no danger from using mammalian cells and tissue culture medium that might be contaminated with infectious agents. Purification is often easier.

24 Some Achievements Cont…
Some of the proteins that are being produced by transgenic crop plants: human growth hormone humanized antibodies against such infectious agents as HIV respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) herpes simplex virus, HSV Edible Vaccines Works like any vaccine A transgenic plant with a pathogen protein gene is developed Potato, banana, and tomato are targets Humans eat the plant The body produces antibodies against pathogen protein Humans are “immunized” against the pathogen Examples: Diarrhea, Hepatitis B, Measles

25 Controversies The introduction of transgenic plants into agriculture has been vigorously opposed by some. There are a number of issues that worry the opponents. Examples: A gene for herbicide resistance in, e.g. corn, escaping into a weed species could make control of the weed far more difficult. The gene for Bt toxin expressed in pollen might endanger pollinators like honeybees. To date, field studies on Bt cotton and maize (corn) show that the numbers of some non-target insects are reduced somewhat but not as much as in fields treated with insecticides. Another worry is the inadvertent mixing of transgenic crops with non-transgenic food crops. Although this has occurred periodically, there is absolutely no evidence of a threat to human health. Despite the controversies, farmers are embracing transgenic crops.

26 Future Developments in Transgenic Technology
More efficient transformation, that is, a higher percentage of plant cells will successfully incorporate the transgene. Better marker genes to replace the use of antibiotic resistance genes. Better control of gene expression through more specific promoters, so that the inserted gene will be active only when and where needed. Transfer of multi-gene DNA fragments to modify more complex traits.

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