New Multiple Gene Stacking Technique Could Develop Crops with Higher Yields and Better Traits
Scientist from the USDA Agricultural Research Service developed a new
process that can be used to insert multiple genes into a crop plant, which
can make it easier to breed a variety of crops with highly enhanced
characteristics. The new process is reported in The Plant Journal.
The new process called GAANTRY gene stacking technology is expected to
hasten the development of new varieties of potatoes,rice, citrus, and other
crops with improved tolerance to heat and drought, produce higher yields,
and resist a myriad of diseases and pests. The process includes stabilizing
large "stacks" of DNA necessary to express vital characteristics, letting
the researchers to insert suites of genes so precisely that no unintended
DNA is added or removed during the process.
"Making genetic improvements that were difficult or impossible before will
be much easier because we can now insert not just one or two genes, but
multiple genes, into a plant in a way that will lead to predictable
outcomes," said Roger Thilmony, a molecular biologist from ARS. "Before
this, assembling 10 genes to insert into a new line would be difficult or
impossible, but this technology basically stabilizes the stack and create
results that are more stable and much easier to predict," Thilmony added.