The scientists were able to create the first plant capable to store nutrients in fats, experimenting with unique genes found in the cells of green algae.
American geneticists first cultivated plant with a high content of fat and other "power-hungry" connections, which makes it suitable for the production of biofuels or as sverhkaloriynogo livestock feed, according to a paper published in the journal Plant Cell.
"If we learn how to extract the oil from the leaves, stems and seeds, the potential energy" capacity "of the plant can be doubled. Moreover, if we make the vegetation to produce fat constantly, not only in adverse conditions, these plants can replace traditional crops," — said Christoph Benning (Christoph Benning) from the University of Michigan in East Lansing (USA).
Benning and his colleagues were able to create the first plant capable to store nutrients in fats, experimenting with unique genes found in the cells of green algae. As the biologists, the genomes of primitive algae still contain the genes specific to their ancestors among the simplest, missing or damaged in more complex species of flora.
The scientists analyzed the genomes of several species of algae and found them in five genes, which contain the instructions for the synthesis of fats. The authors attempted to insert these genes into the plant genome of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) so that its vital activity has not been broken. After a long series of experiments, Benning and his colleagues were able to successfully integrate only one gene out of five.
Biologists have grown a few bushes "bold" Arabidopsis and checked to contain its leaves and stems as much energy in a very original way. For example, researchers have gained a few caterpillars, whiteflies, dropped them into ordinary and "fat" Arabidopsis bushes, and followed up their rate of growth.
The experiment showed that larvae on transgenic plants have increased several times faster than their counterparts. The scientists plan to continue experimenting with these genes, trying to bring new types of plants store fat.