The researchers have recently decided to use an efficient and environment-friendly means to bring about changes in the genes of plants. The use of techniques like this can help generate more varieties that to at a faster rate. However, the means to do it had been keeping the researchers waiting. The researchers found transferring DNA into animal cells easier compared to plant cells.
The cell walls of the plants do not let any transferring take place easily. The scientists have been getting DNA into the plant cells via a gene gun or specific bacteria for the important transfer of biological molecules. But the limitations of these traditional techniques have pushed the scientists to explore the use of carbon nanotubes for the DNA transfer through the thick cell wall. According to Markita Landry from the University of California, the carbon nanotubes were actually going to be used for scaffolding the outer layers for visibility purpose but the tubes were seen to enter the cell making the project a complete failure. The plan was then reserved and the nanotubes were used to transfer DNA converting it into a DNA delivery platform. The basic idea was to use carbon nanotubes as nano-needles to inject the DNA directly into the cells.
Only transferring the DNA is not enough as the transferred material later degrades and thus, there is a need to affect the genome for which CRISPR turns out to be the best tool. The CRISPR can be transferred through nanotubes as well. The current study can help make new varieties of plants for not only humans’ advantage but also the animals and plants itself. The University of California researchers have found a genetic, regulatory mechanism that helps stand up against bacterial infection in the plants. According to the team of researchers, the RNAi machinery and the equivalent plant-immunity-related Argonaute protein both play an important role in helping plant growth and keep bacterial infection at bay.