Max Planck scientists develop gene switch for chloroplasts in plant cells

Posted: April 5, 2010 at 8:13 am

Story Summary: These RNA molecules are the instruction manuals that show the ribosomes – the cells protein factories – how to build a protein. A few years ago, scientists studying bacterial cells discovered sections in certain messenger RNAs that metabolic products (metabolites) can bind to. The scientists smuggled a gene into the chloroplast DNA and equipped it with a riboswitch. Thats because each tobacco cell contains as many as 100 chloroplasts. As a result, it is capable of building more proteins than the DNA in the cell nucleus. In many cases, however, these foreign proteins damage cellular metabolism or photosynthesis if the cells produce them continuously. Foreign genes have another advantage in the chloroplasts besides this: they are inherited almost without exception through the female egg cell. It is therefore extremely rare for foreign genes to spread through the pollen of the tobacco plants. Source: Max-Planck-Gesellschaft– 27 July 2009Researchers have developed a new technique that allows them to make a movie of bacteria infecting their living host. — full story– 9 July 2009Although the fact that we generate new brain cells throughout life is no longer disputed, their purpose has been the topic of much debate. — full story– 8 July 2009The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced today the discovery of a new monkey in a remote region of the Amazon in Brazil. The monkey is related to saddleback tamarins, which….Read the Full Story

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