▪ Abstract 

Plastids of higher plants are semi-autonomous organelles with a small, highly polyploid genome and their own transcription-translation machinery. This review provides an overview of the technology for the genetic modification of the plastid genome including: vectors, marker genes and gene design, the use of gene knockouts and over-expression to probe plastid function and the application of site-specific recombinases for excision of target DNA. Examples for applications in basic science include the study of plastid gene transcription, mRNA editing, photosynthesis and evolution. Examples for biotechnological applications are incorporation of transgenes in the plastid genome for containment and high-level expression of recombinant proteins for pharmaceutical and industrial applications. Plastid transformation is routine only in tobacco. Progress in implementing the technology in other crops is discussed.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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