Information Systems for Biotechnology (ISB) News Report - March 2010
Table of Contents
Asynchronous Flowering Periods and Pollen-mediated Gene Flow
Marie-Josee Simard, Anne Legere and Christian J. Willenborg
Outcrossing potential is evaluated by measuring gene flow between adjacent plants. A variable rate between adjacent plants could be modulated by factors other than merely pollen dispersal. Gene flow as a function of flowering date has been seldom studied; however, gene flow is not a simple function of the number of synchronous flowers. During a flowering period, not only did canola flowers have different potential outcrossing rates but also different seed-setting potential. This variation explained observed time gap effects on outcrossing rates and could be used to manage gene flow.
Manipulating Plant Histone Genes to Improve Agrobacterium- and Direct DNA-mediated Plant Genetic Transformation
Stanton B. Gelvin
Agrobacterium-mediated plant genetic transformation has become a "core technology" for both plant basic research and for agricultural biotechnology applications. However, many plant species remain highly recalcitrant to Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Improving transformation frequency remains an important aspect of applied Agrobacterium research. Our results indicate that co-introduction of expression cassettes for particular histone genes with genes of interest can significantly increase Agrobacterium-mediated and naked DNA-mediated transgene expression and, hence, transformation efficiency.
Engineering Signal Transduction to Improve Abiotic Stress Responses
Heike Winter Sederoff and Imara Y. Perera
Abiotic stresses are serious threats to crop productivity around the world. Transgenic approaches to increase tolerance to abiotic stress have often targeted stress responsive genes. However, a molecular approach to alter sensing or signaling holds more promise than altering a downstream response. The phosphoinositide (PI) pathway integrates plasma membrane sensing with intracellular signaling and thereby provides a means of both sensing and propagating a signal. Genetic engineering to modify flux through the PI signaling pathway increased drought tolerance and reduced tropic responses in transgenic Arabidopsis and tomato plants.
BIOTECHNOLOGY RISK ASSESSMENT RESEARCH GRANTS PROGRAM
NIFA and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) announce the availability of grant funds and request applications for the Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program (BRAG) for fiscal year (FY) 2010 to support environmental assessment research concerning the introduction of genetically engineered organisms into the environment. Applications must be received in Grants.gov by March 17, 2010 (5:00 p.m. Eastern Time).
2nd International Symposium on "Genomics of Plant Genetic Resources" (GPGR2)
April 24 to 27, 2010
GPGR2 congress will provide a unique opportunity for a state-of-the-art update on how genomics of plant genetic resources can help us to better understand plant functions while providing novel opportunities for more sustainable agricultural practices and the production of more nutritious food.
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Published: March 12, 2010
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