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Engineering of plant chromosomes.

Authors: Michael Florian MF. Mette, Andreas A. Houben
Published: 03/19/2015, Chromosome research : an international journal on the molecular, supramolecular and evolutionary aspects of chromosome biology


Engineered minimal chromosomes with sufficient mitotic and meiotic stability have an enormous potential as vectors for stacking multiple genes required for complex traits in plant biotechnology. Proof of principle for essential steps in chromosome engineering such as truncation of chromosomes by T-DNA-mediated telomere seeding and de novo formation of centromeres by cenH3 fusion protein tethering has been recently obtained. In order to generate robust protocols for application in plant biotechnology, these steps need to be combined and supplemented with additional methods such as site-specific recombination for the directed transfer of multiple genes of interest on the minichromosomes. At the same time, the development of these methods allows new insight into basic aspects of plant chromosome functions such as how centromeres assure proper distribution of chromosomes to daughter cells or how telomeres serve to cap the chromosome ends to prevent shortening of ends over DNA replication cycles and chromosome end fusion.

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