Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Silence please

08.04.2002


Researchers at Cambridge University have been studying the process of gene silencing in transgenic plants, and have cloned a genetic modifier that could reduce transgene instability. Dr Ian Furner will be presenting the results of the study at the Society for Experimental Biology conference on Monday 8 April.



Gene silencing is a naturally occurring process by which genes can become shut off within a plant. When transgenes are introduced into plants they can also show gene silencing. Genes which share sequence similarity are said to be homologous. When transgenes showing homology to normal cellular genes are introduced they can show a special form of silencing called homology-dependent gene silencing and this typically results in the silencing of one or both genes.

Dr Furner’s group studied the homology-dependent silencing process in the Arabidopsis plant. By introducing extra copies of the chalcone synthase gene (CHS) into the plant, they silenced the endogenous gene. Arabidopsis plants grown in bright white light are purple due to the accumulation of the purple pigment anthocyanin. Plants grown at low light levels and plants showing CHS silencing grown at high light levels are green with little anthocyanin.


The group mapped the transgene insert and showed that it resulted in silencing of the normal copy of CHS at the TT4 locus. They also observed an increase in DNA methylation at TT4 after the transgene had been crossed away. Genetic mutations which reduce DNA methylation relieve the CHS silencing and revert the plants to the purple phenotype. Detailed characterisation of one of these mutations and the corresponding gene will be presented.

Dr Furner’s findings could be useful for the improvement of genetic modification. “Gene silencing could potentially be used to silence undesirable traits and modifiers of gene silencing offer some potential to reduce transgene instability”, he said.

Jenny Gimpel | alphagalileo

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Individual Receptors Caught at Work
19.10.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Rapid environmental change makes species more vulnerable to extinction
19.10.2017 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>