Gene transfer to plants by electroporation: methods and applications

Molecular Biology Reports


Pub Date : 2020-04-02

, DOI:

Ibrahim Ilker Ozyigit

Abstract Developing gene transfer technologies enables the genetic manipulation of the living organisms more efficiently. The methods used for gene transfer fall into two main categories; natural and artificial transformation. The natural methods include the conjugation, transposition, bacterial transformation as well as phage and retroviral transductions, contain the physical methods whereas the artificial methods can physically alter and transfer genes from one to another organisms’ cell using, for instance, biolistic transformation, micro- and macroinjection, and protoplast fusion etc. The artificial gene transformation can also be conducted through chemical methods which include calcium phosphate-mediated, polyethylene glycol-mediated, DEAE-Dextran, and liposome-mediated transfers. Electrical methods are also artificial ways to transfer genes that can be done by electroporation and electrofusion. Comparatively, among all the above-mentioned methods, electroporation is being widely used owing to its high efficiency and broader applicability. Electroporation is an electrical transformation method by which transient electropores are produced in the cell membranes. Based on the applications, process can be either reversible where electropores in membrane are resealable and cells preserve the vitality or irreversible where membrane is not able to reseal, and cell eventually dies. This problem can be minimized by developing numerical models to iteratively optimize the field homogeneity considering the cell size, shape, number, and electrode positions supplemented by real-time measurements. In modern biotechnology, numerical methods have been used in electrotransformation, electroporation-based inactivation, electroextraction, and electroporative biomass drying. Moreover, current applications of electroporation also point to some other uncovered potentials for various exploitations in future.


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