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Cisgenic Barley with Improved Phytase Activity

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  • Molekylær Genetik og Bioteknologi
  • Department of Genetics and Biotechnology
Genetic transformation is currently met with substantial skepticism among the general public in Europe and consequently also by the growers, the agro-industry, and the retailers. One major concern is the mingling of genetic material between species. In the light of this, we have initiated a project based on the cisgenesis concept. In contrast to transgenesis, cisgenesis implies that the plant is
transformed only with its own or very closely related genetic material. Furthermore, all “helper” genes and gene sequences of foreign nature are removed from the transformed plant lines. Cisgenic crops are accordingly very
similar to those generated by conventional breeding. The cisgenesis concept allows for the introduction of extra gene copies of a particular gene to accentuate the trait. We are using a barley purple acid phosphatase expressed during
grain filling as candidate gene for cisgenesis. A genomic barley lambda library has been used to isolate the genomic clone of this phytase including 2.3 kb of the promoter region and 600 bp of the terminator region. The clone has
been inserted into a cisgenic Agrobacterium vector where both the gene of interest and the selection gene are flanked by their own T-DNA borders in order to promote integration of the two genes at unlinked places in the plant
genome. Transformed T0 plants show increases in the phytase activity of mature seeds from 1,400 in wild type to 8,950 FTU/kg in T0 plants. T1 plants of each transformant are currently screened with PCR for extra copies of the
genomic phytase gene and the selection gene to identify segregation between the two genes. Presently, we have identified two cisgenic T1 plants without vector backbone and selection gene but with an extra copy of the genomic
phytase gene.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIn Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology - Animal
IssueSupplement 1
Pages (from-to)187
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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