This project will focus on the development of transformation technologies by rationally designing a nanoparticle (NP) carrier that enables bypassing of plant cell wall and membrane, protection of cargo and targeted tissue/cell/organelle delivery in a species-independent manner.
More about the project
Genome editing of elite varieties of crops is important to generate germplasm that are high-yielding, climate resilient and pathogen resistant. The standard workflow involves the delivery of biomolecule (CRISPR, DNA, RNA), selection of transformants followed by regeneration of the transformed progeny. Agrobacterium and biolistic delivery of biomolecules are widely adopted transformation techniques in crops. But most varieties of any crop are recalcitrant to these transformation techniques. There are two major bottlenecks; first is to bypass the rigid plant cell wall barrier which tends to exclude any particle larger than ~5-20 nm in size, and second is the inefficient and laborious regeneration process. Here, nanotechnology can offer a unique opportunity with the potential to underpin genome editing efforts in crop transformation. The project will focus on the development of such technologies by rationally designing a nanoparticle (NP) carrier that enables bypassing of plant cell wall and membrane, protection of cargo and targeted tissue/cell/organelle delivery in a species-independent manner.
Project focus areas will include:
- Design an efficient nanoparticle (NP) carrier
- Nano-mediated pollen transformation
- Nano-mediated leaf infiltration and regeneration of explant
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Neelam Gogoi is an Innovation Fellow with the ARC Training Centre for Future Crops. Neelam has a background in material nanochemistry specialising in nanotechnology based gene editing and has years of experience in CRISPR nanoengineering in crop plants gained during postdoctoral research at the University of Sydney. She has developed a polymeric nanoparticle-based technology to deliver CRISPR/Cas9 in wheat to study the genetic potency of deadly rust pathogens. She has also validated nanotechnology-based gene transformation technologies in multiple varieties of wheat, barley, tomato that are known to be extremely difficult to transform through traditional approaches.
Ulrike Mathesius the heads up the Division of Plant Sciences at the Australian National University and leads the Mathesius Group. She is also a Chief Investigator in the ARC Training Centre for Future Crop Development.