The Crop Transformation and Genome Editing Unit has a long history of wheat transformation research and has developed optimised protocols for both particle bombardment and Agrobacterium-mediated transformation, successfully transforming over 40 different wheat and wheat-related varieties. More recently a successful Indica rice transformation system has been established using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation, and good progress has been made towards initiating a Japonica rice transformation system also. Another species being transformed at Rothamsted is poplar (P. x canescens) INRA 717-1B4 clone, widely used as a model experimental tree species for physiological and genomic studies.
New breeding and genetic modification techniques have evolved rapidly over the last decade and gene editing, through CRISPR/Cas, has been widely adopted as a means of generating highly precise changes in the host genome. Success has already been achieved in modifying specific target genes through this method in wheat, rice and poplar and gene editing has been added to the range of transformation services offered. Advice is available on all aspects of transformation from the design stages, such as suggesting promoters to drive transgene expression or assembly of DNA constructs, to assistance with crossing transgenic plants through to taking transgenic lines to field trial.
Both internal projects and external contracts can be supported, with costs being dependent upon the service required.