Gene Stacking Technology

We wish to develop new and improved techniques, or enabling technologies, to broaden the possibilities for manipulating plant metabolism by transgenesis. We have produced tobacco plants where the expression of multiple lignin genes has been co-ordinately altered in a single step transformation.

Multiple genes can be down-regulated by gene silencing mechanism using a single transgene made of linked partial sequences of interest under plant transcriptional signals. Multiple genes can also be over-expressed using a unique self-dissociating polyprotein adapted for use in plants in our laboratory. A short peptide (20 amino acids) from 2A region of foot and mouth disease virus separates distinct coding sequences within the polyprotein. This peptide effects efficient co-translational dissociation of the polyprotein at the carboxy-terminus of the 2A sequence into discrete protein products.