Scientist of Altai State University took part in the Japanese scientific project on sterility of transgenic plants

8 October 2020 Department of Information and Media Communications
Senior Researcher of the South Siberian Botanical Garden of Altai State University, Candidate of Biological Sciences Mikhail Skaptsov took part in the implementation of a project to confer transgenic plants sterility.

The work, the results of which was published by the authoritative British journal Scientific Reports, was carried out by Japanese scientists for more than 10 years at an agricultural experimental station in Fukui Prefecture (Japan) under the leadership of Dr. Harue Shinoyama. Thanks to the academic mobility program implemented at Altai State University, in 2012, during an internship in the laboratory of Dr. Harue Shinoyama, Mikhail Skaptsov was included in the research team of the project, and became its only foreign employee. In the same year, Dr. Harue Shinoyama was a guest of Altai State University and gave a lecture on agrobacterial transformation of plants.

“The main goal of the study was to develop a system for disabling the gene that is responsible for plant fertility, that is, to achieve the creation of sterile plants so that they do not hybridize with wild relatives,” explains the scientist of Altai State University.

In many countries of the world, the cultivation of genetically modified plants is strictly regulated by the guidelines and directives of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety - an agreement of intent to take measures to eliminate the harmful effects of modern biotechnology on human health and the environment, signed by the European Community with 193 countries of the world.

“More specifically, it was required to investigate the possibility of disabling the DMC1 gene responsible for the formation of plant pollen, using the example of chrysanthemums, to prevent the transfer of the transgene into the wild during hybridization. That is, so that these processes remain exclusively under the control of a person”, explains M. Skaptsov. "The work showed the possibility of completely disabling the DMC1 gene, and also confirmed the sterility of the pollen of adult plants".

The complexity of the work was that the DMC1 gene has many copies in the genome. Therefore, it was required to disable all copies of this gene to obtain the desired result. The task of Mikhail Skaptsov, as well as of his colleagues from Japan, was to work on constructs to disable the DMC1 gene and to carry out agrobacterial transformation.

The main areas of work of the South Siberian Botanical Garden of Altai State University are: the introduction of molecular genetic methods in botanical research (taxonomy, floristry, biotechnology and the study of certain aspects of the biology of the species); organization of scientific internships with the implementation of specific research on its own base and development of software for systematization and processing of molecular genetic data.

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