Genetically engineered plant research

Genetically engineered plant research

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Caption: Genetically engineered plant research. Plant geneticist introducing acyltransferase genes from a tung tree (Vernicia fordii) plant into the genome of thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana). This is being done to make the thale cress plant produce the same oils as the tung plant. This research hopes to engineer plants that readily produce oils that might be used to replace fossil fuels in the future. The foreign DNA is transferred by dipping the plants’ flowers into a sucrose solution containing Agrobacterium tumefaciens bacteria. The bacterial cells then carry plasmids bearing the tung genes and other important regulatory DNA elements into the thale cress' genome.

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