Researchers at the University of Tennessee have discovered a method to induce strong expression of any gene conferring resistance to pathogens, herbicides, salt, cold, drought, or insects by using two newly identified and recently characterized switchgrass promoters. These promoters stimulate constitutive expression with 2x and 4x greater activity than maize ubiquitin 1 (ZmUbi1) and CaMV 35S, respectively, driving gene expression in all tissues and organs of switchgrass. These novel components have the potential to be integrated into all monocot transformation systems, especially where multiple gene activation is needed. Interestingly, these promoters have a broad spectrum of taxonomic activity with additional expression capabilities in other monocots, dicots and ferns.
The present invention relates to methods of blocking or reducing genetically modified plant (GMO) pollen flow using a “non-lethal” approach. In this aspect, at least one transgenic polynucleotide of interest is linked to a pollen-ablation construct as described herein. The pollen-ablation construct contains a polynucleotide encoding a restriction enzyme that renders the transgenic pollen unable to fertilize a sexually compatible ovule.
Researchers at the University of Tennessee have identified switchgrass genes that increase biomass yield and cellulose content in switchgrass and have potential to increase biomass yield and cellulose content in other monocot species such as corn, rice and barley. When the sequence of the derived amino acids were compared with other plant homolog genes, the cluster analysis showed that the genes were clustered into three groups, and each switchgrass gene is clustered with its homolog from other monocot species such as rice, maize, and barley, with a high percentage of amino acid identity (up to 98%). Transient expression analysis of the switchgrass gene for subcellular localization using a fluorescent protein marker showed that the protein was localized to the plant plasma membrane. Transgenic switchgrass plants overexpressing the switchgrass gene were produced and the plants looked phenotypically normal and showed an increase in the plant height, number of tillers, and dry biomass weight.
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