Plant biotechnology

The NIAB Crop Transformation Group provides an efficient platform for a range of plant biotechnology techniques.

Transformation of a number of species are currently undertaken including cereals (wheat, rice and barley) plus oilseed rape, potato and medicago. Several other species, including legumes are currently in development. CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing has been successfully implemented and is being used in several projects.

Our wheat transformation pipeline is the most efficient platform available in Europe, and utilises licensed technology to offer high throughput wheat transformation for both academic researchers and commercial applications. Average efficiencies of over 30% are achieved with hexaploid spring wheat, to enable us to produce 3000 independent wheat transformants per year in our facilities. UK-adapted bread wheat germplasm, including spring and winter types, each of the end use groups and varieties with distinct disease susceptibilities such as eyespot, septoria, yellow and brown rust, fusarium or mildew can be transformed in addition to a number of durum wheats.

Community Resource for Wheat and Rice Transformation (CRWT)

We regularly collaborate with researchers within the plant science community to develop projects leading to grant applications. The BBSRC BBR fund has funded two major NIAB grants in this area to provide transformation capacity for 150 genes free of charge for the UK plant science community:

In addition, we can assist researchers by providing transformation capacity ranging from use of a single construct to regenerate 30 independent lines to much larger scale experiments for commercial organisations. We have molecular and bioinformatic expertise within the group, to also undertake vector and construct design as required. Transgenic plants are validated by PCR, or QPCR copy number analysis, for the selectable marker gene.

More information on our crop transformation services