Plant transformation using the gene gun, Robert Horsch
Interviewee: Robert Horsch.
Robert Horsch talks about the gene gun: a physical method of delivering genes into plant cells.
(DNAi Location: Manipulation > Techniques > Transferring & storing > Interviews > Gene gun)
The major alternative to the use of agrobacterium to get genes into living plant cells is a physical method called the gene gun, which literally shoots gold or tungsten particles into living plant cells, carrying DNA on their surface. The first embodiment of this by the fellow at Cornell, John Sanford, who invented it, actually used a .22 caliber blank to accelerate a plastic bullet with a drop of tungsten and DNA on the tip towards plant cells. The plastic bullet would hit a doughnut-shaped plate with a hole in the middle and the tungsten would spray out the other end but the plastic bullet would stop, and the plant cells in the bottom would be bombarded at gunshot velocities. It turned out it worked. Once the tungsten particle goes into the cell, the DNA would simply fall off of it and once in a while find its way into the nucleus and by just random DNA integration find its way into the genome.
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