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Plant research has profited enormously from the options provided by genetic engineering methods. Overexpression of genes from the nucleus or their targeted knock-down by RNA interference has enabled the dissection of individual functions of genes or networks, boosting our understanding of plant genetics and physiology. However, a fraction of the plants genome is still encoded in their organelles, namely mitochondria and plastids. Genetic engineering of the plastid genome became feasible in 1990 and since then it has enabled numerous studies on plastid-encoded gene functions and also on biotechnological approaches for recombinant protein production. Although, plastid transformation differs largely from nuclear transformation regarding vector requirements, DNA delivery, and host range. Our intention is to give an overview about the techniques applied, the options, and the drawbacks of plastid transformation.
KeywordsChloroplast Genome Expression Cassette Plastid Genome Plastid Transformation Transplastomic Plant
The authors would like to thank Mrs. Doris Schäfer for preparing Fig. 2.2.
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