Iowa State University researchers develop process for ‘surgical’ genetic changes

Plant gene manipulationAMES, Iowa – Research led by scientists at Iowa State University’s Plant Sciences Institute has resulted in a process that will make genetic changes in plant genes much more efficient, practical and safe.

The breakthrough was developed by David Wright, an associate scientist, and Jeffery Townsend, an assistant scientist, and allows targeted genetic manipulations in plant DNA, which could have a huge impact on plant genetic work in the future.

Until now, when scientists introduced DNA into plants, they would randomly inject that DNA into the plant cell. There was no way of knowing if it was in the right place or if it would work until many resulting plants were tested.

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