With the particle bombardment protocol presented here, we show a practical way to study genes in a homologous system. This method makes it possible to characterize regulatory elements of genes (Finken and Kunz 1997), to elucidate tissue-specific gene expression (Quijada et al. 2000), and to investigate the consequences of overexpression (Gillingham and Munro 2000). Since gold particles can be coated with RNA (Davis et al. 1999), it is feasible to design experiments for the silencing of genes using RNA interference (Bass 2000, Tavernarakis et al. 2000). Furthermore, it should be possible to use this transformation method not only for schistosomes but also for other multicellular parasites.
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