Periwinkle plant tumour harnessed to produce medicinesNovember 14th, 2007 - 8:09 am ICT by admin
“Hairy roots have a number of advantages over cell cultures as a production platform for these compounds,” the researcher added.
Scientists have for long believed that the production prowess of hairy roots can be harnessed for the industry, but the biggest challenge before them was to determine the long-term stability of the genetically altered roots.
San and Christie Peebles, a Rice graduate student, has now described the methods they used to keep a transgenic hairy root culture alive for four-and-a-half years.
At the outset, the researchers infected a periwinkle plant with a bacterium carrying a gene for fluorescence. They maintained a stable root culture with the characteristic fluorescent glow produced by the gene by transferring root tips into fresh liquid every four weeks.
San and his colleagues are now hoping to make genetic modifications to the metabolic pathways of the transgenic periwinkle roots. They believe that such changes will allow them to produce far more vincristine and vinblastine than is normally produced by a regular periwinkle plant. (ANI)
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Tags: alkaloids, bacterium, biotechnology progress, cancer drugs, cell cultures, genetic modifications, hairy root, hairy roots, metabolic pathways, peebles, periwinkle plant, production platform, prowess, root tips, term stability, transgenic, tumour, vinblastine, vincristine, yiu