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 Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed
18.01.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht 127 at one blow...
18.01.2017 | Stiftung Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Leibniz-Institut für Biodiversität der Tiere

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>