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Moving gene in plant results in increased production of amino acid

ease of anthranilate synthase, the control enzyme of tryptophan biosynthesis. The leaves, in turn, had a 10-fold increase in tryptophan compared to non-altered plants.

The work demonstrates the feasibility of modifying the biosynthetic pathways of important metabolites through transformation of the DNA located in the plastids and relocating native genes in the nucleus, Portis said. Plastid transformation is advantageous over nuclear DNA modifications, because it generally allows higher expression of the desired enzymes and restricts unwanted gene movement via pollen, which in most plants does not contain any plastid DNA.

The technology provides another tool, besides nuclear transformation, for improving yield and value. It could also be used to engineer plants to produce pharmaceuticals such as edible vaccines.


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Contact: Jim Barlow
b-james3@uiuc.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
28-Sep-2001


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