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transgenic crops with hypermutation genes
The patent below is for plants with high rates of mutation from which
desirable characteristics can ber selected. However, hyper mutation cannot be
allowed to continue in the crop because that will lead to error catastrophe.
The concept of error catastrophe is now an established fact(not a theory) and
it is used to treat viruses, bacteria and cancers with mutagens which will
soon lead to the extinction of the treated population.
At ant rate, plant tissue culture leads to soma clonal variation, a very
powerful form of hyper mutation caused by transposons being activated and
causing insertion mutation. Soma clonal variation has also been patented as a
means of creating variation for selection.
Hypermutation seems like a bad way to create commercial crops that will be
useful for many seasons.It seems wise to insure that the mutation gene does not
pollute organic crops.
US20020128460A1: Method for generating hypermutable plants
Nicolaides, Nicholas C.; Boothwyn, PA, United States of America
Grasso, Luigi; Philadelphia, PA, United States of America
Sass, Phillip M.; Audubon, PA, United States of America
Kinzler, Ken; Bel Air, MD, United States of America
Vogelstein, Bert; Baltimore, MD, United States of America
Blockade of mismatch repair in a plant can lead to hypermutation and a new
genotype and/or phenotype. One approach used to generate hypermutable plants
is through the expression of dominant negative alleles of mismatch repair
genes in transgenic plants or derived cells. By introducing these genes into
cells and transgenic plants, new cell lines and plant varieties with novel and
useful properties can be prepared more efficiently than by relying on the
natural rate of mutation. Moreover, methods to inhibit the expression and
activity of endogenous plant MMR genes and their encoded products are also
useful to generate hypermutable plants.