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Scientists Devise New Technology to Study Genetically Modified Plants

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Published on : Jan 22, 2019

A team of researchers from Salk have achieved a feat of sorts. They have managed to successfully map the epigenomes and genomes of genetically modified plants with the maximum resolution possible. This enabled them to understand what exactly goes on at the molecular level when a bit of foreign DNA is introduced.

The findings of the scientists were published in a journal named PLOS Genetics a week back. It talks about the typical processes leveraged to modify plants. It also sheds light on how to effectively reduce the potential of off-target effects.

New Technique Can Reduce Time for Understanding Genetic Changes

This initiative by the scientists offered a starting point for demonstrating the use of latest, cutting-edge mapping and sequencing techniques. Those, in turn, can help understand the impact of introducing genes into genomes of plants.

So far, scientists have relied upon Agrobacterium tumefaciens to carry out the job – inserting a new gene inside a plant for research or to enhance the nutrition or health of a plant.

However, recent studies via DNA sequencing technologies have shown that Agrobacterium T-DNA can change the chemical and structural properties of the native DNA when inserted into a plant.

Biotech companies devote considerable time and effort to identify transgenic plants and often fail to understand what may have happened to plants showing sudden changes. This new method devised by the scientists can help to better understand the effects and thus expedite the long process.

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