Saturday, February 9, 2013

Clone human genes into plants! - Avidadham - International Conference on Molecular therapeutics!

E.coli VS Plants!

As an undergraduate of Biotechnology, I know about cloning. I know about cloning a gene which codes for a human protein into a bacterial cell, E.coli, most times.

I also know about producing transgenic plant varieties. But, I don't know about cloning a human gene into plant! I came to know about cloning a human gene into plant and producing the protein in plants from the workshop session of AVIDADHAM'13.

Let me explain something about this!

As you may know, eukaryotic gene has both introns and exons. So cloning a eukaryotic gene into a prokaryote will have lots of problem like splicing and post translational modification.

Generally for cloning eukaryotic gene into a prokaryote like E.coli, we do follow bottom up approach where we use mRNA to synthesise cDNA, to remove the noncoding introns. But, even if we remove the introns there will be problems with post translational modification.

So, to avoid this, we are cloning our gene from human into plants? Here, we are not going to grow the plant cells, but, the whole plant.

Plant tissue culture
I had come to know that they had successfully expressed the protein of interest in plants but the problem is with purifying and extracting the protein from the plants. Once this is possible, once the extraction procedures are found, once the extraction is done with out affecting the protein's activity, then, I'm sure, this is going to be a ground breaking technique.

We could get bulk amount of our protein. But there are lots of problems when we come to the ethical side, these GM plants should be grown only inside a green house, so that it won't affect the other wild varieties by pollination.

If we are growing this in open field then due to pollination there is a possibility that our wild varieties might become extinct. So, we must grow these plants inside the green house.

After all, if we come out with an idea saying "GM plants", there are people who are ready to boycott!

But, I got very much excited about this idea of cloning human genes into plants. It's awesome, isn't it?

Any queries? Feel free to comment! I'll try to answer my best!