Introduction to Plant Transformation

"Transformation" is most simply defined as a "change". In the plant biotechnology community, transformation can be a little more precisely defined as the process of DNA introduction into a plant cell, leading to a permanent change in the genetic makeup of the target cell and its derivatives.

The ability to produce whole plants from transformed plant cells, first reported by Horsch et al. (1985), has revolutionized the plant sciences and changed the face of the planet, through the success and rapid adoption of genetically modified crops. Although the transformation process itself was initially limiting, all crops of major interest have been successfully transformed and many if not most transformation technologies are considered routine. Some crops do remain a little recalcitrant to transformation and improvements in the methods for production of stably-transformed plants are still needed. The current limitations in the production of transgenic plants for both basic research and commercial application include more efficient production of transformed plants and obtaining more predictable insertion and expression of the introduced DNA.

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