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Checkbiotech: Transgenic alfalfa produces isoflavones
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: September 05, 2005 07:54AM ; ;

Isoflavonoids are an interesting group of compounds: they are produced
mostly by legumes in response to plant stress, but have also shown potential
in combating hormone-dependent cancers, cardiovascular disease,
osteoporosis, and menopausal symptoms. Engineering isoflavonoid biosynthesis
in plants can thus provide a good source of these compounds, for plant-based
dietary supplements, and for providing plants extra defense mechanisms,
September 2005.

Bettina E. Deavours and Richard A. Dixon of the Samuel Roberts Noble
Foundation set out to perform ?Metabolic Engineering of Isoflavonoid
Biosynthesis in Alfalfa.? They engineered alfalfa leaves to produce
genistein glucoside without affecting regular plant growth or the expression
of other alfalfa genes. Their findings appear in the latest issue of the
Plant Physiology journal.

Using the IFS gene from the model legume Medicago truncatula, or the barrel
medic, researchers successfully generated transgenic alfalfa producing,
among other isoflavonoids, genistein. Since genistein is not normally
synthesized in alfalfa leaves, scientists used microarrays to track if its
accumulation caused any unexpected effects on gene expression. Tests showed,
however, that gene expression carried on as usual.

Plant Physiology subscribers can read more by accessing the full article at
[]. Other readers can view
the abstract at [].

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