Navigation Links
Could 'hairy roots' become biofactories?
Date:10/30/2007

HOUSTON, Oct. 30, 2007 -- Rice University bioengineers have reported an advance in tapping the immense potential of "hairy roots" as natural factories to produce medicines, food flavorings and other commercial products.

The study is available online and slated to appear in the November/December issue of the American Chemical Society's bi-monthly journal Biotechnology Progress.

"The species of periwinkle that we're studying produces a wide variety of alkaloids -- including the anti-cancer drugs vincristine and vinblastine," said study co-author Ka-Yiu San. "Hairy roots have a number of advantages over cell cultures as a production platform for these compounds."

Hairy roots are a type of tumor that forms on plants infected by the soil bacterium Agrobacterium rhizogenes. By inserting a specific gene into the bacterium, researchers can integrate that gene into the host plant's DNA. Eventually, the host develops a system of fuzzy-looking roots near the site of the infection. These so-called "hairy roots" are transgenic, meaning they contain the genes of both the host plant and the bacterium.

Scientists believe they can create hairy roots that churn out the product of inserted genes with a stability and productivity not possible with most other plant cell cultures. San '78, Rice's E.D. Butcher Professor of Bioengineering, said scientists have long wanted to harness the production prowess of hairy roots for industry, but first they must determine the long-term stability of the genetically altered roots.

In the new study, San and Rice graduate student Christie Peebles described the methods they used to keep a transgenic hairy root culture alive for 4-and-a-half years. At the outset, they infected a periwinkle plant with a bacterium carrying a gene for fluorescence. By transferring root tips into fresh liquid every four weeks, they maintained a stable root culture that had the characteristic fluorescent glow produced by the gene.

Ultimately, San and his collaborators hope to make genetic modifications to the metabolic pathways of the transgenic periwinkle roots, changes that will allow them to produce far more vincristine and vinblastine than is normally produced by a regular periwinkle plant. Study co-authors include Iowa State University's Jacqueline Shanks, adjunct professor of bioengineering at Rice, and plant biologist Susan Gibson of the University of Minnesota.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Protein discovery could unlock the secret to better TB treatment
2. Tiny particles could solve billion-dollar problem
3. Novel Therapy Tested in Mice Could Chase Away Cat Allergies
4. Spider Venom Could Yield Eco-Friendly Insecticides
5. First atlas of key brain genes could speed research on cancer, neurological diseases
6. Discovery of key proteins shape could lead to improved bacterial pneumonia vaccine
7. A comprehensive response to HIV could prevent 10 million AIDS deaths in Africa by 2020
8. New Breast Cancer Test Could Save Lives
9. Discovery Could Lead To Novel Approaches In HIV Treatment
10. How the environment could be damaging mens reproductive health
11. Dead zone area in Gulf could be increasing, researchers say
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/29/2016)... Lithuania , Nov. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... biometric identification and object recognition technologies, today ... (SDK) for fingerprint recognition solutions that run ... a fingerprint template using less than 128KB ... in compact devices that have limited on-board ...
(Date:11/24/2016)... -- Cercacor today introduced Ember TM Sport Premium ... measure hemoglobin, Oxygen Content, Oxygen Saturation, Perfusion Index, ... approximately 30 seconds. Smaller than a smartphone, using only ... key data about their bodies to help monitor these ... Hemoglobin carries oxygen to muscles. When hemoglobin and ...
(Date:11/21/2016)... , Nov. 21, 2016   Neurotechnology ... object recognition technologies, today announced that the MegaMatcher ... cards was submitted for the NIST Minutiae ... passed all the mandatory steps of the evaluation ... is a continuing test of fingerprint templates used ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... December 05, 2016 , ... In anticipation ... and lumbar disc production, company President, Jake Lubinski will be traveling to Germany ... AxioMed disc in Cologne and Karlsruhe to discuss the benefits of a viscoelastic ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... Mich. , Dec. 5, 2016 NxGen MDx announced today ... bringing the test in house, we,ve been able to improve customer service ... for patients," says Alan Mack , CEO of NxGen MDx. ... , , ... test volume has led to more job opportunities at the Grand Rapid ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... USA (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... of innovative U.S.-owned and -operated small businesses in federally funded research and development ... the international society for optics and photonics . , As part of the ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... MA to soon resume cervical and lumbar disc production, company President, Jake Lubinski ... surgeons who are implanting the AxioMed disc in Bern, Lucerne, and Zurich to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: