Sunday, December 11, 2016

Arabidopsis Modified to Express Drosophila Melanogaster Gene

Over the years the use of TNT has left the soil of lands contaminated. TNT is used for many things, but one of the things that uses it the must is war.  There are still stretches of land contaminated from World War II. Scientist has found a way to modify Arabidopsis, which is a plant in the same family as the cabbage, to remove the TNT from the soil. Scientist modified Arabidopsis to express glutathione transferase (DmGSTE6) which is a gene found in Drosophila melanogaster, also known as the fruit fly. When the gene was inserted into the plant scientist noticed that the glutathione gene plant compared to that of a wild-type plant had two major differences. The first thing that was different was that the modified plant was more resistant to TNT and second, it was able to remove the TNT from the soil compared to the natural wild type plant which was not able to.

This is just the begin of the project, the scientist hope to be able to insert this gene into other plants or grasses that are more able to grow in more harsh environments. This to me is quite amazing. These same scientist as part of the team that recently discovered away to remove RDX from soil by modifying a grass species to absorb it. If they are able to combine the RDX removal factor and TNT removal factor, all in one plant, that would be a break through.

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