Prospects in plant genetic engineering

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Science  11 Feb 1983:
Vol. 219, Issue 4585, pp. 671-682
DOI: 10.1126/science.6297007


The functional expression of a novel gene in a genetically engineered plant has not yet been reported. One major barrier in movement toward this goal is our limited understanding of the molecular bases of gene expression. Attempts to establish genetic engineering as a practical facet of plant breeding are also complicated by the fact that genes for most important plant characteristics have not yet been identified. However, the benefits to be gained from all aspects of plant improvement are stimulating research into both the development of plant transformation technology and the isolation and characterization of genes responsible for valuable traits. As scientists develop greater knowledge of plant molecular genetics, we can expect to see practical applications in such diverse areas as improvement of plant nutritional quality, decreases in fertilization requirements, and increases in resistance to environmental stresses and pathogens.