fifty years ago, MAY 13, 1972 Archives

Genes grafted to tomato plant cells

Sydney, May 12: Australian scientists have broken the barrier separating animals and plants by transplanting a group of genes from a bacterium into the cells of a tomato plant, it was reported here to-day. Three scientists of the School of Biological Sciences of the Australian National University in Canberra announced to-day that the transplant had given the cells of the tomato plant the genetic memory of an animal. The transplant had given the plant cells entirely new characteristics. The genetic information transmitted will make it possible for plants to take nitrogen directly from the air rather than from fertilizers. Plants might also be induced by such transplants to produce protein of the type needed to help overcome the world’s food shortage. The findings of the scientists, Dr. C. Doy, Dr. R. Rolfe, and Mr. P. Gresshof, will be placed before an international meeting of scientists sponsored by the International Union of Biochemistry in Sydney next week.   


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