Every two weeks, if not each week, we would like to present in our web site recent topics of interest to the community of tissue culture or tissue culture related science. The topics will vary from basic to applied tissue culture technology to those on plant transformation, molecular biology, genetically modified crops, important patents and events pertaining to our interest. This week we offer the following interesting article on a subject which has created a confused picture in our mind for the past several years. The bottom line of this topic is not to discourage proponents of GM food but gives a clear message to the concerned scientists and policy makers to be extremely careful in deciding whether to release a GM food crop without being absolutely sure that a transgenic food plant is harmless and do not pose a threat to the general pubic.
In the second week we posted a second article on "Evolution of Plant Resistance Genes" by Dr. Tony Prior and his associates at the CSIRO, Canberra, Australia. The third article discusses about salt tolerance particularly its molecular aspects. This article will be of particular interest to Bangladesh where salt levels in soil in some areas are have become our major concern.
The third week's article is about the use of virus as a vector to ferry the alien gene(s) across the host plant and the molecular basis as to how the virus gene, when incorporated into the host's genome, acts as a deterrent to further attack by the same virus.
This fourth week's feature article would sound like a scientific fiction story, namely, planting of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana on Mars soil by a robot to be carried there by spaceship. The mission has been scheduled for 2007. The specific Arabidopsis plants contain genes from jellyfish that will glow under stress conditions and will send signals to Earth. Non transmission of light will indicate that arabidopsis plants have adjusted themselves to Martian climate and are doing okay.
The fifth week has two "Review of the week" summaries. One deals with use of biotechnology in production of parthnocarpic fruits (seedless) in non-parthenocarpic species. As many as six genes have been identified and cloned which hold a great promise for inducing seedless fruit without fertilization and contribute to full development of fruits in varieties where seedless fruits are misshapen. The second article is about embryo development without fertilization. This remarkable study has been carried out under the guidance of Dr. Abid Chaudhury, Principal Investigator, CSIRO, Canberra, Australia. The results reported in this article will go a long way to breed high quality fruit varieties such as mango with fidelity.
This week, an exciting article on, "Medical Molecular Farming" is being published. In this review article, Professor Henry Daniell (originally an Indian from Madras) of Central Florida University and his associates have discussed how in the foreseeable future, it may be possible to target genes of interest (conferring immunity to a number of diseases through their protein products) to chloroplast genome thereby ensuring its maximum expression without any position effect. There are over 10,000 chloroplasts in an individual cell; so the gene of interest will produce 10,000 fold more proteins in the form of a specific vaccine.
If you have any specific questions about any of the EIGHT articles, please go to the Web site at www.esb.utexas.edu/islam and enter your query/queries on the top left hand column. Hopefully you will get your answers at your email address.
Thank you for visiting.