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A New Method for Efficient and Convenient Plant Genetic Transformation Created by CAAS Scientists

Source: Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture

The scientific research teams of Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture (IEDA) and Biotechnology Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Agriculture Sciences (CAAS) have conducted the joint research and developed a new method for plant genetic transformation with high-throughput, convenient operation and wide purposes by using magnetic nanoparticles as gene carriers. Their study makes important progress in the research on the nano-carrier gene delivery and genetic mediated systems, developing a new direction of nano-biotechnology research. The relevant research results were published online in the authoritative academic journal Nature Plants on November 27th, 2017.

The development of a new efficient genetic transformation method has always been one of the hotspots in the fields of genetic engineering, molecular biology and genetic breeding. Most traditional plant transgenic methods need complex tissue culture and regeneration procedures to get transgenic plants, especially the preparation of transgenic plants of cotton and other difficult-to-regenerate crops are more difficult. Pollen magnetofection method developed by this team uses Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles as carriers to transfer the exogenous gene to the internal pollen under the mediation of an external magnetic field, create the transformed seeds directly through artificial pollination and natural reproduction process, and then obtain the stable genetic transgenic offspring after breeding. This method combines the nano magnetofection with pollen-mediated transformation, which overcomes the constraints of the traditional transgenic methods in the aspects of tissue regeneration culture and recipient material genotypes so as to improve the efficiency of genetic transformation, shorten the cultivation period of transgenic plants and realize high-throughput and multi-gene synergy and transformation. It has great significance for accelerating the breeding of new varieties of genetically modified organisms and has wide application prospects in the fields of crop genetics, synthetic biology, bioreactor and so on.

This study has been funded by the Genetically Modified Organisms Breeding Major Projects of China (Grant No.: 2009ZX08010-006B), Major National Scientific Research Program of China (Grant No.: 2014CB932200) and Scientific and Technological Innovation Project of CAAS (Grant No.: CAASXTCX2016004). Dr. Zhao Xiang and Dr. Wang Yan of IEDA and Dr. Meng Zhigang of Biotechnology Research Institute are the co-first authors of this paper, and Prof. Cui Haixin of IEDA and Prof. Zhang Rui of Biotechnology Research Institute are joint corresponding authors. More information of the study can be found in below link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41477-017-0063-z

By Zhao Xiang