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Genetic Engineering

Rat Genes Used to Increase Vitamin-C Content of Plants

17 years, 5 months ago

4085  0
Posted on Sep 22, 2002, 12 p.m. By Bill Freeman

Researchers have found a way to significantly increase the vitamin-C content of plants, a discovery that could help to make food healthier and last longer. Scientists at the biotechnology company Virginia Tech managed to switch on a dormant vitamin-C producing pathway in a lettuce by genetically modified the plant to contain genes taken from a rat.

Researchers have found a way to significantly increase the vitamin-C content of plants, a discovery that could help to make food healthier and last longer. Scientists at the biotechnology company Virginia Tech managed to switch on a dormant vitamin-C producing pathway in a lettuce by genetically modified the plant to contain genes taken from a rat. By doing this, the researchers managed to increase the vitamin-C content of the lettuce by 700%. Crops with enhanced vitamin-C content would help to improve the nutrition of people in developing countries. Furthermore, as the vitamin is a natural preservative increasing the level of vitamin-C may also help to increase the shelf life of the food. The team are now looking at ways to stimulate the vitamin-C pathway without using rat genes.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.bioexchange.com on the 3rd August 2001

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