Biotechnology and Tomorrow's Varieties: from a University Perspective

R.H. Smith and J. Gould


Despite the recent advancements which have been made in the transfer of foreign genes into plants, three major bottlenecks to the widespread improvement of crops by this method remain. The blockages are: (1) the lack of identified and available genes which confer valuable traits to crop species, including genes which enhance expression of other genes; (2) a need for a 'universal' vector system for transport and stable incorporation of isolated genes into the genome of many crop species; (3) a need for an improved plant tissue culture methodology for use in the initial transformation and subsequent regeneration of plants from a species range which would include the agronomically important crop species and varieties. These limitations are particularly important for cotton improvement. The model systems designed for tobacco, carrot, and petunia are not easily applied to cotton or other crop species. The role of the University in this rapidly developing field will continue to be that of basic research in these three areas which limit commercial application.

Reprinted from Proceedings: 1989 Beltwide Cotton Production Conference pg. 15
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998