Novel Method for Control of Plant Expression

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Gene promoters are regions of DNA that are responsible for turning on genes by acting as a binding site for RNA polymerase. RNA polymerase is an enzyme that is necessary in protein synthesis. When a gene is expressed or turned on, the proteins coded by that segment of DNA are produced. Other chemically induced gene promoters have been isolated; however, the chemicals needed for induction are not suitable for application because the chemicals are too volatile or toxic to the environment. The benzoate induced gene promoter offers a chemical approach that is not harmful to the environment, resulting in a specific, safe induction for controlled expression of a gene.

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a promoter that can be used to regulate expression of any transgene in plants simply by spraying plants with the specified chemical. Examples of use could be for controlling the timing of gene expression of insect and disease resistance, turning on the production of a specialty chemical production in plants, controlling flowering in plants, or killing transgenic plants by turning on the production of a gene encoding an herbicide or apoptotic genes. This system would be ideal for any application to control the timing of gene expression.

Advantages:
-Chemical inducer is not toxic to the environment
-Control over the timing of gene expression
-Could be sprayed on plants over a large acreage, allowing for control over a mass area

Potential Applications:
-Agriculture
-Genetics
May 10, 2005
Utility Patent
United States
7,705,203
Apr 27, 2010

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