Crop Biotech Update

Bxb1 Recombinase Mediates Site-Specific Deletion in GM Wheat

May 4, 2012

Wheat is one of the most important food crops across the globe. However, there have been no GM wheat varieties available in the market up to the present. The development of biotech wheat could benefit from the use of site-specific recombination systems that involve efficient excision of marker genes used to identify transformants. Thus, USDA scientist James Thomson and colleagues developed a recombination system derived from Mycobacterium smegmati bacteriophage Bxb1. The system is designed to remove the marker gene in GM wheat.

Based on the findings published in the Plant Molecular Biology Reporter, the research team confirmed that Bxb1 recombinase is heritable in GM wheat plants and performs site-specific excision. Therefore, the system is a useful tool for generating marker-free GE plants. Development of wheat lines capable of efficiently excising unneeded marker genes eliminates one potential impediment to commercialization of GM wheat.

Read the abstract at http://www.springerlink.com/content/t15487846722k79k/.