Biotech Updates

New Gene Switch System for Tissue-Specific Induction of Gene Expression

November 25, 2011

The ability to regulate spatial and temporary expression of genes is an important tool in biotechnology as well as in functional genomics. Such regulation can provide information about the function of a gene during development while preventing possible harmful effects of constitutive overexpression of the gene.

Jaemo Jang of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in the U.S., together with colleagues developed a safe and effective plant gene switch system for tissue-specific induction of gene expression in thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) and Chinese mustard (Brassica juncea). According to the authors, the new system provides both temporal and spatial control of transgene expression. The system could be used in various types of plant tissues. It will also allow engineering and analysis of intractable phenotypic traits such as lethality and dwarfism.