CHLOROPLAST GENETIC ENGINEERING
Global Change and Photosynthesis Research Unit
Project Number: 3611-21000-021-00
Start Date: Jul 27, 2006
End Date: Sep 30, 2010
Develop procedures to genetically engineer soybean chloroplasts, and use them to modify native soybean Rubisco (both the chloroplast-encoded large subunit and the nuclear-encoded small subunit) for enhancement of photosynthetic activity. One half of the new funds should be used under this objective to identify and overcome barriers to functioning of exotic Rubisco enzymes in soybeans.
Develop processes for more effective and efficient genetic engineering of plastids, and evaluate the potential of this technology to enhance biosafety of transgenic plants by restricting or eliminating gene spread. (via SCA with Dr. Henry Daniell). One half of the new funds should be used under this objective for development and evaluation of PMP systems in non-food crops.
sub-objective 1.4 as “Develop procedures for Rubisco RbcS and RbcL replacement in soybean.”
Genetic engineering of plants has tremendous potential to create crops with new metabolic capabilities, like the ability to accumulate pharmaceuticals or other high-value specialty materials. In addition to metabolic engineering itself, however, there are some obstacles to be overcome before these technologies can be commercialized. One is the potential for spread of transgenes from the engineered plants to conventional fields of the same crop, largely by dispersal of pollen. An attractive approach to the problem of gene dispersal is to genetically engineer the chlogoplast genome, which is maternally inherited and is not transmitted through the male gametophyte (pollen).