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J Genet Genomics. 2009 Jul;36(7):387-98. doi: 10.1016/S1673-8527(08)60128-9.

Advances in chloroplast engineering.

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Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.


The chloroplast is a pivotal organelle in plant cells and eukaryotic algae to carry out photosynthesis, which provides the primary source of the world's food. The expression of foreign genes in chloroplasts offers several advantages over their expression in the nucleus: high-level expression, transgene stacking in operons and a lack of epigenetic interference allowing stable transgene expression. In addition, transgenic chloroplasts are generally not transmitted through pollen grains because of the cytoplasmic localization. In the past two decades, great progress in chloroplast engineering has been made. In this paper, we review and highlight recent studies of chloroplast engineering, including chloroplast transformation procedures, controlled expression of plastid transgenes in plants, the expression of foreign genes for improvement of plant traits, the production of biopharmaceuticals, metabolic pathway engineering in plants, plastid transformation to study RNA editing, and marker gene excision system.

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