NST PMS 1B: Introduction

Prof. Jim Haseloff (jh295@cam.ac.uk)
Links to supplementary lecture materials below:
Lecture 1. Plant breeding and transformation
(Click to see slide show)
(i) Crop breeding: Zea mays as an example, hybrid maize and the rise of agribusiness
(ii) "Ground Zero" for biotechnology
Agrobacterium mediated plant transformation
First plant transformation experiments
Biotechnology in agriculture
(Download Lecture 1 notes in PDF form)
Suggested reading
Biotechnology in the 1930s: the development of hybrid maize. DN Duvick, Nature Reviews Genetics 2:69-73, 2001.
The scientific roots of modern plant biotechnology. IM Sussex, The Plant Cell 20:1189-1198, 2008.
Agrobacterium: nature's genetic engineer. EW Nester, Frontiers in Plant Science 5:1-16, 2015.

Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn: video film from HHMI
Guide for the above film, with much useful information (Download "Educator materials" as PDF)
Lecture 2. Genetics and phenotype
(Click to see slide show)
(i) Gene design
(ii) Single gene traits
(iii) Reporter genes
(iv) Visualising gene expression and cell architecture
(Download Lecture 2 notes in PDF form)
Suggested reading
Towards two decades of plant biotechnology: successes, failures and prospects. N Halford Food and Energy Security 1:9-28, 2012.
Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal three-domain Cry toxins: mode of action, insect resistance and consequences for crop protection. Liliana Pardo-Lopez, Mario Soberon & Alejandra Bravo. FEMS Microbiol Rev 37:3–22, 2013.
GM plants: questions and answers. Royal Society Report, 2016
Using intrinsically fluorescent proteins for plant cell imaging. R Dixit, R Cyr and S Gilroy, The Plant Journal 45:599-615, 2006.
Lecture 3. Plant biotechnology
(Click to see slide show)
(i) Link between gene expression, growth and plant form
(ii) Multigene traits
(iii) An example: seed shatter
(iv) Problems and opportunities.
(Download Lecture 3 notes in PDF form)
Suggested reading
Molecular mechanisms involved in convergent crop domestication Teresa Lenser and Gunter Theißen Trends in Plant Science, Vol. 18, No. 12, 2013.
Role of the FUL–SHP network in the evolution of fruit morphology and function. Cristina Ferrándiz & Chloé Fourquin, Journal of Experimental Botany, Vol. 65, No. 16, pp. 4505–4513, 2014.
Bayer trait development story: Strong seed pods. Bayer Research, 2014.
Part 1B Practical Class
Plant transformation and use of reporter genes and microscopy of plants.
In the practical session there are several objectives: (i) to describe gene fusions, (ii) the use of reporter genes in plants, and (iii) the use of microscopy techniques for reporter gene detection in the context of plant transformation.

Download quiz sheet


and when you would like to check your answers….download the answer sheet.