The process of making GM potato
There are two widely used methods with which the genetic transformation of potato can be realized. The first of which is called 'the particle bombardment' method or biolistic. Tiny particles coated with the desired genetic material (DNA) are physically shot into plant cells. Upon collision, the DNA comes off and gets incorporated into the DNA of the recipient plant cells.
The second method makes use of a bacterium called Agrobacterium tumefaciens.
This remarkable soil-dwelling bacterium is known to naturally conduct genetic engineering. It does this by transferring part of its own genetic material (the transfer-DNA or T-DNA) to DNA of the potato plant cell.
Nowadays strains and conditions are being found that can transform almost any plant species. Scientists have removed most of the bacterial genes from the T-DNA, while retaining the genes needed to the transfer of the T-DNA. This has allowed scientists to insert new genes (called foreign genes or transgenes) in the T-DNA, allowing their transfer and stable integration into the DNA of the potato cell. This system for genetic transformation of plants is the most widely used for potato genetic engineering.
Scanning electron microscopy showing a number of Agrobacterium tumefaciens cells that start to infect a plant cell.Source: A. G. Matthysse, K. V. Holmes, R. H. G. Gurlitz
- Background forAgrobacteriumgene transfert
- Agrobacterium mediated Potato genetic engineering
- Benefits and risks of the genetic engineering process