another question from a high school teacher

Anita Petrie A.Petrie at
Thu Sep 28 00:27:14 EST 2000

Salicylic acid is a natural plant product that has varied features in plants - 
 one of which is increasing the resistance to some plant pathogens including 
the tobacco mosaic virus - (see Malamy, Carr, Klessig and Raskin in Science 
1990 v250: p 1002-1004.).  It also has known affects with tobacco necrosis 
virus and Colletotrichum. 

Producing a transgenic plant is not something that could be undertaken in the 
high school classroom( for reasons of quarantine, government approval, as well 
as equipment and expertise) and certainly not in a school timeframe.  
Transgenics are the results of years of research and usually require 
substantial dollars as well as the knowledge and equipment to make it happen.  
There is presently heaps of research around the place into both the TMV and 
salicylic acid, perhaps its something your student could keep in her mind for 
future research after school college etc.. I stumbled across this and your 
student may find this person helpful in future or to talk to at the Department 
of Plant Sciences in Cambridge.  I'm sure there is heaps more out on the web 


In article <20000926.185950.10894.8.rkurtz3 at>, rkurtz3 at says...
>I have an ambitious young student (11th grade).  She read an article last
>year about treating a plant with asprin to help fight off tobacco mosaic
>virus.  She found that it worked using lettuce as an experimental
>The salycitic (not sure of spelling) acid can kill the virus.  Now she
>wants the plant to produce the acid (apparently it produces in
>naturally).  She will have to make, we think a transgenic plant.
>The question is.  Is this a feasible idea, can a very ambitious student
>make this happen.  Does anyone know of someone who works in plant
>genetics that may be able to give her some advice??
>Thank you
>Richard Kurtz
>South Side High School
>Long Island, NY
>Juno now offers FREE Internet Access!
>Try it today - there's no risk!  For your FREE software, visit:

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