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Biotechnology: CRISPR makes modified monkeys : Nature : Nature Publishing Group

Biotechnology: CRISPR makes modified monkeys : Nature : Nature Publishing Group | GeneTech | Scoop.it
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Subchromoplast Sequestration of Carotenoids Affects Regulatory Mechanisms in Tomato Lines Expressing Different Carotenoid Gene Combinations

Metabolic engineering of the carotenoid pathway in recent years has successfully enhanced the carotenoid contents of crop plants. It is now clear that only increasing biosynthesis is restrictive, as mechanisms to sequestrate these increased levels in the cell or organelle should be exploited. In this study, biosynthetic pathway genes were overexpressed in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) lines and the effects on carotenoid formation and sequestration revealed. The bacterial Crt carotenogenic genes, independently or in combination, and their zygosity affect the production of carotenoids. Transcription of the pathway genes was perturbed, whereby the tissue specificity of transcripts was altered. Changes in the steady state levels of metabolites in unrelated sectors of metabolism were found. Of particular interest was a concurrent increase of the plastid-localized lipid monogalactodiacylglycerol with carotenoids along with membranous subcellular structures. The carotenoids, proteins, and lipids in the subchromoplast fractions of the transgenic tomato fruit with increased carotenoid content suggest that cellular structures can adapt to facilitate the sequestration of the newly formed products. Moreover, phytoene, the precursor of the pathway, was identified in the plastoglobule, whereas the biosynthetic enzymes were in the membranes. The implications of these findings with respect to novel pathway regulation mechanisms are discussed.

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Cytokinins Secreted by Agrobacterium Promote Transformation by Repressing a Plant Myb Transcription Factor -- Sardesai et al. 6 (302): ra100 -- Science Signaling

Abstract: Agrobacterium-mediated transformation is the most widely used technique for generating transgenic plants. However, many crops remain recalcitrant. We found that an Arabidopsis myb family transcription factor (MTF1) inhibited plant transformation susceptibility. Mutating MTF1 increased attachment of several Agrobacterium strains to roots and increased both stable and transient transformation in both susceptible and transformation-resistant Arabidopsis ecotypes. Cytokinins from Agrobacterium tumefaciens decreased the expression of MTF1 through activation of the cytokinin response regulator ARR3. Mutating AHK3 and AHK4, genes that encode cytokinin-responsive kinases, increased the expression of MTF1 and impaired plant transformation. Mutant mtf1 plants also had increased expression of AT14A, which encodes a putative transmembrane receptor for cell adhesion molecules. Plants overexpressing AT14A exhibited increased susceptibility to transformation, whereasat14a mutant plants exhibited decreased attachment of bacteria to roots and decreased transformation, suggesting that AT14A may serve as an anchor point for Agrobacteria. Thus, by promoting bacterial attachment and transformation of resistant plants and increasing such processes in susceptible plants, treating roots with cytokinins may help engineer crops with improved features or yield.

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Golden Rice Not So Golden for Tufts | Science/AAAS | News

Golden Rice Not So Golden for Tufts | Science/AAAS | News | GeneTech | Scoop.it

A study in which Chinese children were fed a small amount of genetically modified rice violated university and U.S. federal rules on human research, according to a statement issued yesterday by Tufts University in Boston, whose scientists led the study. Tufts has barred the principal investigator, Guangwen Tang, from doing human research for 2 years and will require her to undergo training in research on human subjects.

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What Happens When Weed Killers Stop Killing?

INDIANAPOLIS—"U.S. farmers are heading for a crisis," says Stephen Powles of the University of Western Australia, Crawley. Powles is an expert on herbicide resistance, a worsening problem in U.S. fields. Weeds resistant to glyphosate—the world's most popular herbicide—are now present in the vast majority of soybean, cotton, and corn farms in some U.S. states. Perhaps even worse, weeds that can shrug off multiple other herbicides are on the rise. Although the problem was highlighted here last week at an American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting symposium, chemists have little to offer: Few new weed killers are near commercialization, and none with a novel molecular mode of action for which there is no resistance.

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Farming a Toxin To Protect Crops, Pollinators and People: Scientific American

Farming a Toxin To Protect Crops, Pollinators and People: Scientific American | GeneTech | Scoop.it
Genetically modified crops that produce the pest-killing toxin Bt increase yields and reduce the use of noxious chemical insecticides. But like any powerful tool, they must be used responsibly
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The CRISPR Craze

 

Bacteria have a kind of adaptive immune system, which enables them to fight off repeated attacks by specific viruses, that works through precise targeting of DNA. In January, four research teams reported harnessing the system, called CRISPR, to target the destruction of specific genes in human cells. And in the following 8 months, various groups have used it to delete, add, activate or suppress targeted genes in human cells, mice, rats, zebrafish, bacteria, fruit flies, yeast, nematodes and crops, demonstrating broad utility for the technique. With CRISPR, scientists can create mouse models of human diseases much more quickly than before, study individual genes much faster, and easily change multiple genes in cells at once to study their interactions.

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Reevaluate Pesticides for Food Security and Safety

With global population projected to increase above 9 billion by 2050, food security—the availability of food and one's access to it—is increasingly important (1). Crop-protection products can help reduce yield losses caused by pests, pathogens, and weeds, to help feed the world's population sustainably. Given potential harm for human health and the environment, regulation of pesticide use in agriculture has been controversial.

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The Gene Sr33, an Ortholog of Barley Mla Genes, Encodes Resistance to Wheat Stem Rust Race Ug99

Wheat stem rust, caused by the fungus Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici, afflicts bread wheat (Triticum aestivum). New virulent races collectively referred to as “Ug99” have emerged, which threaten global wheat production. The wheat gene Sr33, introgressed from the wild relative Aegilops tauschiiinto bread wheat, confers resistance to diverse stem rust races, including the Ug99 race group. We cloned Sr33, which encodes a coiled-coil, nucleotide-binding, leucine-rich repeat protein. Sr33 is orthologous to the barley (Hordeum vulgare) Mla mildew resistance genes that confer resistance toBlumeria graminis f. sp. hordei. The wheat Sr33 gene functions independently of RAR1, SGT1, andHSP90 chaperones. Haplotype analysis from diverse collections of Ae. tauschii placed the origin ofSr33 resistance near the southern coast of the Caspian Sea.

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Stem Cells Open Up Options | The Scientist Magazine®

Stem Cells Open Up Options | The Scientist Magazine® | GeneTech | Scoop.it
Pluripotent cells can help regenerate tissues and maintain long life—and they may also help animals jumpstart drastically new lifestyles.
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Plant Cell: In Plant Activation (INPACT): An Inducible, Hyperexpression Platform for Recombinant Protein Production in Plants

Plant Cell: In Plant Activation (INPACT): An Inducible, Hyperexpression Platform for Recombinant Protein Production in Plants | GeneTech | Scoop.it

"The In Plant Activation (INPACT) system is based on the replication machinery of tobacco yellow dwarf mastrevirus (TYDV) and is essentially transient gene expression from a stably transformed plant, thus combining the advantages of both means of expression. The INPACT cassette is uniquely arranged such that the gene of interest is split and only reconstituted in the presence of the TYDV-encoded Rep/RepA proteins. Rep/RepA expression is placed under the control of the AlcA:AlcR gene switch, which is responsive to trace levels of ethanol"


Via Mary Williams
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Mary Williams's comment, July 11, 2013 10:16 AM
Nice system, and impressive data. Off when it should be off, and very on when it should be on!
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Two-time Nobel Laureate Dies | The Scientist Magazine®

Two-time Nobel Laureate Dies | The Scientist Magazine® | GeneTech | Scoop.it
Frederick Sanger, who pioneered amino acid and DNA sequencing techniques, has passed away at age 95.
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Science Signaling Podcast: 19 November 2013 -- Gelvin and VanHook 6 (302): pc31 Data Supplement - Podcast -- Science Signaling

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RNA-based cholesterol drug shows early promise

RNA-based cholesterol drug shows early promise | GeneTech | Scoop.it

Results from a small clinical trial suggest that RNA-based drugs could be a viable therapy for fighting high cholesterol.

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Cellular Reprogramming Picks Up Speed | Science/AAAS | News

Cellular Reprogramming Picks Up Speed | Science/AAAS | News | GeneTech | Scoop.it

Given the right instructions in the lab, mature cells can turn back into embryoniclike ones that researchers covet, but the process is frustratingly slow and inefficient. By removing a molecular brake, scientists have now figured out how to reprogram cells with almost 100% efficiency.

I

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Standing Up for GMOs

New technologies often evoke rumors of hazard. These generally fade with time when, as in this case, no real hazards emerge. But the anti-GMO fever still burns brightly, fanned by electronic gossip and well-organized fear-mongering that profits some individuals and organizations. We, and the thousands of other scientists who have signed the statement of protest, stand together in staunch opposition to the violent destruction of required tests on valuable advances such as Golden Rice that have the potential to save millions of impoverished fellow humans from needless suffering and death.

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Gene Therapy That Works

Inder M. Verma

 

The concept of gene therapy is disarmingly simple: Introduce a healthy gene in a patient and its product should alleviate the defect caused by a faulty gene or slow the progression of disease (1). Why then, over the past three decades, have there been so few clinical successes in treating patients with this approach? A major obstacle has been the delivery of genes to the appropriate cell, tissue, and organ. How does one introduce a gene into the brain with trillions of cells, or the liver with billions of cells, or the rare hematopoietic adult stem cell that has the potential to populate all lineages of lymphoid and myeloid cells? Much effort has been devoted to finding ways to efficiently deliver a therapeutic gene to the desired cell type, resulting in sustained production of the gene product, ideally through the entire life of the recipient, without unwanted side effects like genotoxicity or unsettling the immune balance (2). On pages 864 and 865 in this issue, Biffi et al. (3) and Aiuti et al. (4) report encouraging results using lentivirus-mediated gene therapy to treat children with rare genetic defects.

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Genetically modified crops pass benefits to weeds

Genetically modified crops pass benefits to weeds | GeneTech | Scoop.it
Herbicide resistance could confer an advantage on plants in the wild.
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Genetically Modified Crops Pass Benefits to Weeds: Scientific American

Genetically Modified Crops Pass Benefits to Weeds: Scientific American | GeneTech | Scoop.it
Herbicide resistance and other genetic modifications could confer an advantage on plants in the wild
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Paths from Pesticides to Parkinson's

Interest in the relationship between exposure to pesticides and the risk of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease (PD) is long-standing (1). PD, in particular, has been the subject of much debate in this context (2). Its symptoms typically occur later in life (at age 60 or older), with the destruction of neurons manifesting most obviously as loss of motor function. Decades of epidemiological studies have suggested that pesticide exposure is connected to the development of PD. Yet there is still much that is not clear about this relationship. The disorder likely has multiple contributing genetic and environmental factors, but how exposure to a particular chemical leads to neuronal loss and the symptoms of PD is not known. A recent meta-analysis indeed shows that epidemiologic data generally support an association between pesticides and the risk of PD (3). But what is needed is detailed information on the nature of exposure—which pesticides, at what dose, and for how long—to help design policies and practices that prevent the relevant exposures. Also needed is information on the cellular and molecular mechanisms that, over time, lead from pesticide exposure to neurodegeneration and ultimately to PD. Although many questions still linger, some recent studies appear to be advancing the field.

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Identification of Wheat Gene Sr35 That Confers Resistance to Ug99 Stem Rust Race Group

Wheat stem rust, caused by Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt), is a devastating disease that can cause severe yield losses. A previously uncharacterized Pgt race, designated Ug99, has overcome most of the widely used resistance genes and is threatening major wheat production areas. Here, we demonstrate that the Sr35 gene from Triticum monococcum is a coiled-coil, nucleotide-binding, leucine-rich repeat gene that confers near immunity to Ug99 and related races. This gene is absent in the A-genome diploid donor and in polyploid wheat but is effective when transferred from T. monococcum to polyploid wheat. The cloning of Sr35 opens the door to the use of biotechnological approaches to control this devastating disease and to analyses of the molecular interactions that define the wheat-rust pathosystem.

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GM Rice Could Fight Diarrhea | The Scientist Magazine®

GM Rice Could Fight Diarrhea | The Scientist Magazine® | GeneTech | Scoop.it
A genetically modified strain of rice produces an antibody that helps mice fight off rotaviruses.
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