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Whole Leaf Tobacco

Hacking Photosynthesis

deluxestogie

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#1
Hacking Photosynthesis



Recognize this plant? It was used to genetically engineer the process of photosynthesis to be more efficient. The promise is that the plants were able to grow 40% larger, and that this might be applied to food production. But it has now been solidly demonstrated in tobacco.

Here is the sketchy NBC news article: https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/scienc...way-hack-photosynthesis-here-s-why-ncna956706

Here is the more detailed article on phys.org: https://phys.org/news/2019-01-scientists-photosynthesis-genetically.html

Unlike the mandate of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which funded the project, and requires that the resulting improved food varieties be made available to farmers worldwide, Science magazine, which published the original article, hides its contents behind a paywall.

Bob
 

Charly

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#2
I am really amazed by the ENORMOUS size of the tobacco they managed to grow :oops:
If that's 40% larger than the "normal" plant, then what is the size of the normal plant ?!? :D :D :D

I think we opened the Pandora's box with ogms.... I just hope we are not messing everything up again...
 

skychaser

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#3
I am really amazed by the ENORMOUS size of the tobacco they managed to grow
lol I saw this on phys.org a few day ago and thought the same thing. Knee high plants in full bloom that are 40% bigger? Um... Maybe they should be reading here to pick up some tips on how to grow tobacco.
 

deluxestogie

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#4
Of course, nobody bothered to remove suckers, and there are multiple bud stalks on each plant. But I believe they are measuring plant mass or leaf mass, which tends to be similar on tended vs ignored plants. It's difficult to go by the newsy reports, given the profiteering of Science magazine. (Can you tell that I'm really pissed about that?)

Bob
 

drinkthekoolaid

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#8
Unlike the mandate of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which funded the project, and requires that the resulting improved food varieties be made available to farmers worldwide, Science magazine, which published the original article, hides its contents behind a paywall.
Bob
Could try to use Sci-hub to get the full paper.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sci-Hub
 

GreenDragon

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#13
In the photo shown in the article the researchers are freezing tissue samples of leaves in liquid Nitrogen, which is cold enough to stop all biological processes. (Freezing at normal water-ice temperatures does not.) They will then study the tissue to verify that the inserted genes are present and being expressed in the tissues and at what levels by DNA and RNA analysis and various other means.
 

skychaser

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#14
We use dwarf strains of tobacco for most genetic experiments as controlled greenhouse space is very limited, and you need to squeeze in several generations in a year so early flowing is also a plus.
That makes perfect sense. Are you involved with this project in some way?
 

GreenDragon

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#15
Unfortunately no. My research as a PhD student was in a plant genetics lab at Texas A&M. We studied the genetics of the Opium Poppy and some other plants with anti-cancer properties. All interesting genes were inserted into Tobacco for study. So I’m quite familiar with the methods used in the papers cited.

That experience is what lead me to grow my first personal crop last year with cigar varieties. I always remembered how much I enjoyed working with the Tobacco plants in the lab over all the other plants we worked with.

Opium poppies are also fun to grow and make really pretty flowers and seed pods. However, unlike Tobacco, seedlings do not like to be transplanted, so are best sown directly onto the soil in very early spring. Very similar to Tobacco in that the seads are small and are sown on the surface of the soil. There are seeds of cultivars available with little to no opium that you can purchase for growing in your home garden on the ‘net.
 
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