FaithAsian LifeStudentsOpen CentreBlastChildren
have tried for a long time to add genes to the chloroplast
and adapt the levels of proteins in them. The
Leicester University research involves
genetically controlled enlarging of the chloroplasts.
Researchers can then blast them
more efficiently with DNA attached to gold particles encoding
valuable proteins followed by re-manipulation of the division
New research from Leicester University has discovered how to modify
crops genetically without playing hazard with the environment.
Researchers have found a way to manipulate chloroplasts, which make
plants green, and generate oxygen in the photosynthesis process.
The findings may have major impact, particularly on countries in
the developing world because researchers may now be able to improve
crops without producing unwanted superseeds.
Dr Simon Geir Møller of the University of Leicester's Department
of Biology said the new techniques in plant chloroplast division
held hope for agriculture.
"The main advantage is that chloroplasts are not spread by pollen,
so there is no environmental hazard in plants genetically modified
in this way".
"In other words there wouldn't be any cross-pollination or the development
of unwanted 'superweeds'. The gene basically dies with the plant,"
Dr Møller’s team of researchers has been working to examine how
chloroplasts divide in plants.
By comparing cell division in the E. coli bacterium with the way
chloroplasts divide, the team has isolated a new protein in the
plant Arabidopsis called AtMinE1.
have then shown that this protein represents an evolutionary conserved
link between bacterial division and chloroplast division.
Dr Møller has carried out the research together with colleagues
at the Laboratory of Plant Molecular Biology at the Rockefeller
University in New York.
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