Transformation Lab - Mission
The Core Citrus Transformation Facility was established to expedite integration of recombinant DNA technologies and genetic engineering into basic research from other related disciplines, including biochemistry, food science/processing, post harvest physiology, horticulture, plant pathology, and entomology by providing a service that will allow researchers from all disciplines to have their genes of interest transferred and tested in the appropriate citrus cultivars. A functional core citrus transformation laboratory should benefit nearly all phases of the Florida citrus industry and will no doubt play a major role in the long-term improvement of citrus.
The purpose of the CCTF is to produce genetically modified Citrus plants. The method employed at the lab utilizes naturally occurring pathogenic bacterium called Agrobacterium tumefaciens that has the ability to insert the fragment of DNA into the genome of host plant. These bacteria have been manipulated and rendered non-pathogenic although they kept their ability to transfer foreign DNA into host’s genome. The DNA fragment of interest to our client is introduced into Agrobacterium, and such newly created strain is used for treatment of plant tissues that will result in production of plantlets that have their genomes altered by the presence of foreign DNA. Additional tests are performed to confirm that genetic modification took place.
To the extent necessary for its ability to do genetic transformations of Citrus plants, CCTF also has purpose in researching how to improve these processes.