Location: Crop Improvement and Genetics Research
Project Number: 2030-21220-002-05-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement
Start Date: Oct 1, 2017
End Date: Aug 31, 2021
The objective of this proposal is to develop a complete transgene biocontainment system for switchgrass (hybrid switchgrass that is completely sterile).
Using a genetic engineering approach, a two-component strategy involving two types of transgenic switchgrass plant lines will be developed. Crossing of these fertile transgenic lines will generate hybrid progeny that lack all reproductive/floral development in otherwise vegetatively normal plants. Implementation of this novel two-component system will utilize tissue-specific promoters to control floral-specific expression of the cytotoxic gene barnase. The ablation cassette is maintained in an inactive stae in the original transgenic plants due to the presence of an expression-terminating ‘stuffer’ fragment. Expression is activated in the F1 hybrid plants via Cre recombinase-mediated removal of the lox-flanked stuffer. Multiple independent transgenic lines containing various constructs and their F1 hybrids will be characterized to identify the combinations that provide the most effective transgene biocontainment system.