Experts at that Iowa State University (ISU) announce the development of a technique that relies on nanotechnology to deliver both proteins and strands of DNA into plant cells. Their achievement has the potential to boost crop yields, among other benefits for worldwide agriculture.
The best part about this work is that the genetic editing can be done in a very precise manner, allowing scientists to control whichever aspect of the plant's growth or development processes they choose.
As global warming, harmful microorganisms and new pests are ravaging crops worldwide, this ability is becoming increasingly important, e! Science News
reports. Being able to incite specific genetic changes in plant populations can ensure their survival and, by extension, our own.
One of the most innovative aspects of the study is that the nanoparticles the ISU team developed can pierce the cellular walls with ease. This is made possible by the addition of a thin gold coating on each individual particle.