Plants making plastic ?

John Morris jwm at
Wed Apr 19 16:05:29 EST 1995

cal_lab at (hiv_emir) wrote:
> I'm trying to hunt down some reference on polyhydroxybutyrate
> production by arabidopsis.  There was a recent article in 
> new Scientists referring to PNAS, but only in passing.
> The Jan/Feb issues are still not is OZ yet ?  Does anyone
> have the actual page nos and authors etc ?
> I'm trying to develop a problem-based learning exercise
> on this unusual aspect of "plant metabolism".
> Craig Zimitat
Using the WAIS indexed files of AAtDB on gopher, and the query word
polyhydrox*, I find the reference below.  The gopher server is 
available at <gopher://>. 
If you do not have a gopher client, but do have telnet access, 
you can telnet to and use the login name gopher.

- John Morris
AAtDB Project

Paper : "poiri-1992-aafzj"
  Reference   Title   Polyhydroxybutyrate, a biodegradable thermoplastic,
                        produced in transgenic plants
              Journal     Science (Washington DC)
              Agricola_ID     IND92045876. 9209.
              Year    1992
              Volume      256
              Page    520     523
  Author      Poirier, Y.
              Dennis, D. E.
              Klomparens, K.
              Somerville, C.
  Type    Journal Article
  Keyword     transgenics
              alcaligenes eutrophus
  Abstract    poiri-1992-aafzj
Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), a high molecular weight
polyester, is accumulated as a storage carbon in many species of
bacteria and is a biodegradable thermoplastic. To produce PHB by
genetic engineering in plants, genes from the bacterium Alcaligenes
eutrophus that encoded the two enzymes required to convert
acetoacetyl-coenzyme A to PHB were placed under transcriptional
control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter and introduced
into Arabidopsis thaliana. Transgenic plant lines that contained both
genes accumulated PHB as electron-lucent granules in the cytoplasm,
nucleus, and vacuole; the size and appearance of these granules were
similar to the PHB granules that accumulate in bacteria.

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