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Nature's transgenics: Evidence of lateral gene transfer in plants with Dr. Lara Pereira

Feb 4, 2023 by Dr. Kevin Folta in Talking Biotech

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As the amount of plant genomic DNA sequence increases, scientists have detected DNA sequence information that simply does not conveniently fit into genome assemblies, and clearly appears to be from somewhere else. Dr. Lara Pereira from the University of Sheffield explains the surprising frequency of lateral gene transfer between grass species. The mechanism of crossing the species barrier is discussed, along with the frequency of horizontal transfer. We discuss the ramifications of unregulated integration of DNA into plant genomes and the perception of transgenic plants in the EU and other locations where crop genetic engineering is not viewed favorably. The results also suggest additional care when monitoring gene escape in transgenic grasses like maize. Follow Dr. Pereira on Twitter at @LarrLarr


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