A Method for Generating Plant Variability
Method enhances the generation of a spectrum of new variants in a specific plant Creates a high rate of variability that allows subsequent selection of phenotypes with improved traits, e.g., increased resistance to disease or environmental factors or for biofuel production When tested in tobacco plants as a model, created a broad spectrum of phenotypes at a high rate (~20%) via random integration of unique regulatory elements into the genome Our Innovation
Specific non-coding DNA sequences that have a global regulatory effect on the genome drive a plant’s developmental reprogramming so that novel, genetically-stable variants are formed. When the sequences are introduced into the genome of a collection of protoplasts, plants can be grown that will each have a unique phenotype depending on the site of integration of the sequence and can then be selected for desirable traits.
Unlike mutagenesis in coding sequences, has a global effect on the pattern of gene expression without the disruption of individual genes Tool enables production of large numbers of plant variants for selection of desired traits Can produce plant varieties with enhanced benefits for the food, pharmaceutical, forestry, flower and energy industries Development Milestones
Method demonstrated in tobacco model Further work to be carried out in biofuel candidates The Opportunity
Can be used to generate variants of biofuel-important plants with larger oil-bearing fruits, increased concentration of fuel-producing content or new types of plants for biofuel production Enables efficient development of varieties resistant to disease, salinity, increased nutrient content
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