American specialists in the field of bioengineering for the first time managed to grow a plant that contains high amounts of fat, and some other "power-hungry" connections. Thanks to these properties the plant can be used for producing biofuel or as too caloric fodder is transmitted to the article published in Plant Cell.
"If you learn how to extract oil from the seeds, leaves and stems of the plant, the potential energy" capacity "it can be doubled. Moreover, if we make the vegetation to produce fats regularly, they can replace traditional crops, "- said Christoph Benning (Christoph Benning), head of research at the University of Michigan in East Lansing (USA).
The group of geneticists led by Benning was able to create the first plant, which is able to store nutrients in fats, spending a few experiments with unique genes detected in the cells of green algae. The genomes of primitive algae, as noted by biologists, still contain genes specific to their ancestors number of protozoa that have more complex species of flora are damaged or missing.
After analyzing the genomes of several species of algae and finding in them five genes containing instructions for the synthesis of fat, scientists have tried to introduce these genes into the genome of the plant Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), but want the ability to live it was not broken. Benning and his colleagues were able to successfully integrate the only one of the five gene after a long series of experiments.
Some bushes grown Arabidopsis with "oil" leaves, biologists have checked how much energy it contains the leaves and stems of a very original way. The authors have acquired a few caterpillars, whiteflies, which were planted on conventional and "fat" Arabidopsis bushes, and then tracked the rate of growth of insects. As a result, the experiment showed that the transgenic plants caterpillars grown several times faster than their neighbors. In the future, the scientists plan to continue experimenting with these genes, in order to derive new types of plants are able to store fat.