Crop Biotech Update

Giant Tobacco Plants that Stay Young Forever

January 16, 2013

Tobacco naturally grows for around three to four months, flower and then die. In the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME in Münster, Germany, scientists have identified the genetic switch which can prevent plants from flowering. This switch prevents the plant's early senescence and suppresses the factor that halts growth. Tobacco plants were made to express the gene delaying flowering through genetic engineering. In the Institute, tobacco plants expressing the gene grow one and a half to two meters tall and have been named "forever young". When applied to plants and other important crops, the technology can make crops to yield a far greater amount of biomass for biofuel production.

The full story can be read at http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2013/january/giant-tobacco-plants-that-stay-young-forever---research-news-jan.html.