Problems That Can Limit the Expression of Foreign Genes in Plants: Lessons to be Learned From B.t. Toxin Genes

  • Scott H. Diehn
  • E. Jay De Rocher
  • Pamela J. Green
Part of the Genetic Engineering book series (GEPM, volume 18)


It has been more than ten years since the first transgenic plants expressing foreign genes were regenerated following Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. During this time, significant progress has been made toward crop improvement by genetically engineered plants with a variety of desirable traits. New developments in the area of plant transformation and the isolation of agronomically important genes have contributed to this advancement. In some cases, endogenous plant genes have been re-engineered to produce advantageous characteristics, whereas in others, genes from non-plant sources have been used. Prominent examples include the antisense and sense configurations of several genes that have been used to manipulate ripening and senescence processes (1). In addition, genes from bacteria, fungi, plants and viruses have been expressed in plants to achieve resistance to various pathogens (2) or herbicides (3), to alter male fertility (4,5) or lipid composition (6), or to produce new compounds in plants such as biodegradable plastics (7,8). As a result, many exciting transgenic plants and their products should soon reach the market place.


Codon Usage Foreign Gene Insecticidal Activity Codon Bias Toxin Gene 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott H. Diehn
    • 1
    • 3
  • E. Jay De Rocher
    • 1
  • Pamela J. Green
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.MSU-DOE Plant Research LaboratoryMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  3. 3.Department of Botany and Plant PathologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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