New Techniques of Gene Modification in Plants that Overcome Previous Challenges Using Magnetic Nanoparticles as Gene Carriers

Jeffrey Krall


Humans have been genetically enhancing the plants and animals around them for 30,000 years through the practice of selective breeding (Zimmer, 2013). Previous advances in technology have allowed scientists to directly insert genes from one organism into another to produce traits beneficial to the organism (Cohen et al, 1973) through the process of transformation. However, it is still difficult and time-consuming to create genetically modified organisms in plants as almost all current methods require regeneration from tissue cultures (Zhao et al, 2017). Recently, a new method, pollen magnetofection, has been proven to be able to produce transgenic seeds without using regeneration techniques. This method allows exogenous DNA to be directly inserted into pollen spores via a magnetic nanoparticle, producing transformed seeds and bypassing the need for regeneration. Pollen magnetofection greatly reduces the time needed to create transgenic plants while maintaining pollen/seed viability and can be used to genetically modify almost all flowering plants, including most crops (Zhao et al, 2017).

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