Plant transformation

Carol M. Stiff kck at
Sun Feb 27 13:32:37 EST 2000


I sell a home/classroom plant tissue culture kit but do include
information on transformation (although I also sell a CD which
includes transformation via the Biolistic gun, Agrobacterium, and
electroporation designed for the research laboratory).  There was a
transformation exercise designed for the classroom in an issue of the
American Biology Teacher a few years ago.  I will try to find that
for you.

Transforming plants is not something that should be done in an
uncontrolled environment.  Working with transgenics is restricted and
there are numerous guidelines that must be followed.  I used to be a
safety rep at my university as well as a researcher involved in
transgenic work, and there were permits, building specifications,
water handling, etc. rules.  Classroom exercises have involved
transformation with an Agrobacterium carrying the gus gene.  Plant
cells that were transformed will later show a blue color when assayed
with the proper chemicals.  

Transforming plants for specific characteristics is not as easy.  All
kinds of sophisticated assays are needed to find if the new gene is
present.  Great care must be made to prevent release of transformed 
plants into the environment until they are proven safe.  Use of most
genes is very restricted.  I would recommend not using transformation
in the home lab.  Probably not safe, not legal, etc.  And I think you
can accomplish more without the legal hassles by using selective
breeding techniques.

If still interested in a safe classroom procedure, let me know and I
will find the reference and see if it is still legal.  The laws are
continually changing.  Hope I answered some of your

Carol M. Stiff, Ph.D.
Kitchen Culture Kits, Inc.

| From: Giuseppe D'Ancona <gidancon at>
| To: plant-ed at
| Subject: Plant transformation
| Date: Sunday, February 27, 2000 7:57 AM
| Hello!
| I would like to know if there are in business some full kits on
| transformation experiments" for hobbyists for producing transgenic
| plants!!
| Thank you, Joe.
| e-mail: <gidancon at>

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