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Synthetic Genes Found to Modify Root Structures and Increase Plant Resiliency
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: August 20, 2022 11:42AM

Researchers from the University of Stanford designed a series of
synthetic geneticcircuits that gave them control over the decisions made
by different kinds of plant cells and used these to grow plants with
modified root structures to help in nutrient and water absorption. Aside
from the root system, the synthetic genescan also potentially modify
leaf structures that can adapt to changing environmental conditions.

The researchers built synthetic DNA that works like a computer code with
logic gates that guide the decision-making process. The logic gates were
used to specify which kind of cells were expressing certain genes to
allow them to adjust the number of branches in the root system without
changing the rest of the plant's features. From the initial 1,000, 188
circuit designs were found to have worked. But one particular design was
used to create logic gates that modified the developmental gene of a
root cell of the Arabidopsis plant. Changing the expression level of the
gene resulted in the modification of the density of the branches of the
plant's root system.

The findings can be potentially applicable to commercial crops, and they
can help develop plant varieties that can grow in unfavorable
environmental conditions.


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