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Reviewing the potential of engineered chromosomes in plants

April 9, 2015

karyotype of maize chromosomes using green, blue, and red flourescent tags

A karyotype of maize chromosomes with an engineered mini-chromosome (arrow). (Source: Gaeta et al. Chromosoma 2013;122:221-232).

Engineered plant chromosomes could have profound implications for our 21st century food and energy issues. A significant advantage of engineered chromosomes is that they allow the possibility of introducing multiple genes into plants that confer beneficial traits (resistance to pests and drought, improve nutritional value, and enhance yield, etc.) that can be stably inherited. In a recent review article in Chromosome Research, Dr. Jim Birchler provides an illuminating update on advances in plant chromosome engineering technology, the challenges still remaining, and the potential downstream applications in the areas of chromosome research and plant breeding.

Read the review: Birchler, JA. 2015. Engineered minichromosomes in plants. Chromosome Research 2015; 23(1): 77-85.

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Written by: Melody Kroll

Related research strengths:
Genetics & Genomics, Molecular Biology, Plant Biology