chapter  19
30 Pages

Gene Transfer and Expression in Plants

Gene manipulation technology has been widely used in plant systems.1-10 The process has made it possible to select “superior” plants carrying genes for desired traits. In recent years, the application of gene-transfer techniques has produced significant achievements in generating transgenic plants with desired traits.2,4-15 The general reasons for producing transgenic plants can be summarized as follows: (1) to improve the resistance of plants to insect pests and to fungal and viral diseases; (2) to modify the amino acid composition of storage protein in cereals, potatoes, and legumes to increase their nutritional value; (3) to improve the composition and storage life of fruits and vegetables; (4) to generate transgenic plants that are herbicide-resistant; (5) to increase the capacity of crop plants to fix atmospheric nitrogen; (6) to increase the rate of photosynthesis in green plants; (7) to modify the phenotypic characteristics (color, height, flowering time, and size) of food plants; (8) to reduce photorespiration in C3 plants, with resultant increase in carbon fixation; (9) to introduce new pigment colors in petals of flowers such as blue flower color in roses; and (10) for research purposes and the study of gene function.