Navigation Links
No more sneezing, allergen-free house plants

New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Plant Biology shows how targeting two bacterial genes into an ornamental plant (Pelargonium), can produce long-lived and pollen-free plants.

Pelargoniums ('Geraniums' and 'Storkbills') have been cultivated in Europe since the 17th century and are now one of the most popular garden and house plants around the world. They have been selectively bred to produce a wide range of leaf shapes, flowers and scents, and have commercial traits such as early and continuous flowering, pest and disease resistance and consistent quality.

In a collaborative project, researchers from the Instituto de Biologa Molecular y Celular de Plantas (IBMCP) and BIOMIVA S.L. (Spain) modified Agrobacterium tumefaciens (the bacteria responsible for causing crown gall disease) to carry altered genes. One gene, encoding an enzyme Isopentenyl phosphotransferase (ipt) was designed to increase the amount of cytokinin (a plant hormone), and consequently prevent aging (senescence), and the second was engineered to selectively destroy pollen-producing anthers.

The modified DNA was injected into Pelargonium zonale cells by the bacteria, where it was subsequently integrated into the plant's genome. Individual plants were then grown from these transgenic cells. P. zonale plants carrying the modified genes were more compact with increased number of branches and leaves than normal. These plants also had small leaves and flowers, with more vibrant colours, and the extra cytokinin in the leaves meant that these plants lived longer than usual.

Dr Luis Caas, one of the researchers from IBMCP explained, "The ipt enzyme catalyzes the rate-limiting step for cytokinin biosynthesis in plants and consequently extra ipt, provided transgenically, produces more cytokinin and prevents the plant cells from aging. In addition, the use of an anther-specific promoter from pea driving the expression of a bacterial gene (ribonuclease), prevents the development of male progenitor cells into anthers and pollen, resulting in pollen-free flowers."

The generation of long-life plants is good news for the gardener who wants a display of flowers for as long as possible and the lack of pollen not only is great for hay fever sufferers but also prevents accidental release of the transgenes into the environment. However the extra cytokinin does not protect against owners forgetting to water their plants.


Contact: Hilary Glover
BioMed Central

Related biology news :

1. No more sneezing, allergen free house plants
2. Housekeeping mechanism for brain stem cells discovered
3. Research!America says house funding levels for FY13 could undermine medical progress
4. Jim Demitrieus, CEO of EyeLock, Invited to White House Cyber Security Event
5. Weizmann Institute solar technology to convert greenhouse gas into fuel
6. NSF Leadership in Discovery and Innovation sparks White House US Ignite Initiative
7. Caution needed with new greenhouse gas emission standards
8. Carnegie Mellon Universitys Biometrics Center Selected To House New Pedo-Biometrics Research and Identity Automation Lab
9. House funding bill will delay research progress and place new burdens on NIH
10. Chemical exposure in the womb from household items may contribute to obesity
11. Not just for the birds: Man-made noise has ripple effects on plants, too
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
No more sneezing, allergen-free house plants
(Date:11/18/2015)... York , November 18, 2015 ... Research has published a new market report titled  Gesture ... Trends, and Forecast, 2015 - 2021. According to the report, ... 2014 and is anticipated to reach US$29.1 bn by ... 2021. North America dominated ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... 2015 Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTCQB: PBIO) ("PBI" ... sale of broadly enabling, pressure cycling technology ("PCT")-based sample ... announced it has received gross proceeds of $745,000 from ... (the "Offering"), increasing the total amount raised to date ... closings are expected in the near future. ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... 11, 2015   Growing need for low-cost, ... has been paving the way for use of ... discrete analytes in clinical, agricultural, environmental, food and ... used in medical applications, however, their adoption is ... to continuous emphasis on improving product quality and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 Studies reveal the differences ... and pave the way for more effective treatment for one ...   --> --> ... problems in cats, yet relatively little was understood about the ... have been conducted by researchers from the WALTHAM Centre for ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... IN (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... (AMA) and the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OPBAP) has been formalized with ... and other AMA team leaders met with OPBAP leaders Capt. Karl Minter and ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Asia-Pacific (APAC) ... research organisation (CRO) market. The trend of outsourcing ... lower margins but higher volume share for the ... and scale, however, margins in the CRO industry ... (CRO) Market ( ), finds that ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - iCo Therapeutics ("iCo" ... reported financial results for the quarter ended September ... in Canadian dollars and presented under International Financial ... States ," said Andrew Rae , ... regarding iCo-008 are not only value enriching for ...
Breaking Biology Technology: