Website Search
ID 15265

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.
recombinant dna technology,robert horsch,tungsten particles,john sanford,plant transformation,plant cells,manipulation techniques,gene gun,plastic bullet,dnai,agrobacterium,hole in the middle,interviewee,doughnut,gunshot,embodiment,genetic engineering,velocities,genome,caliber
Creative Commons License This work by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Related content:

15264. Using argobacterium to genetically engineer plants, Robert Horsch
Robert Horsch explains the mechanism by which agrobacterium delivers its DNA "parcel."
15263. What is agrobacterium?, Robert Horsch
Robert Horsch talks about the parasitic nature of agrobacterium and the effect it has on the host plant.
15267. Different methods of genetically engineering plants - Robert Horsch
Robert Horsch compares the random power of a gene gun with the natural genetic engineering abilities of agrobacterium.
15266. Genetically engineering plants using agrobacterium, Robert Horsch
Robert Horsch talks about agrobacterium as a ready-made delivery system for getting foreign DNA into plants.
15658. Robert Horsch
Image of Dr. Robert Horsch
15074. Taking apart plasmid DNA, Stanley Cohen
Stanley Cohen speaks about his and Herbert Boyer's experiment to make the first plasmid that had been engineered to contain foreign DNA.
15158. Bridging evolutionary barriers, Robert Pollack
Renowned biologist and philosopher Robert Pollack reflects on his concern over the potential danger of Janet Mertz's experiment inserting a cancer-causing gene from a monkey virus into a bacterium that lives in humans.
15060. Homologous recombination, Mario Capecchi
Mario Capecchi discusses homologous recombination, the technique he developed to introduce a desired mutation into the DNA of living cells.
16704. Concept 34: Genes can be moved between species.
Recombinant DNA technology has made it possible to test gene function in bacteria or cell cultures rather than animal models.
16883. No Escape for GM Pollen?
Little chance that genetic modifications to chloroplasts are transferred by pollen to wild plants.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
CSHL HomeAbout CSHLResearchEducationPublic EventsNewsstandPartner With UsGiving