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In-situ / In-flight Detection of Fluorescent Proteins Using Imaging Spectroscopy Sensors, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

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In-situ / In-flight Detection of Fluorescent Proteins Using Imaging Spectroscopy Sensors, Phase I
Recent advances in molecular biology have offered promising opportunities for developing high-value transgenic plant materials that originally have no commercial utilities and for producing recombinant proteins in transgenic plants. Such plant genetic engineering will not only benefit the agricultural industry by creating elite crop varieties with improved qualities and unique features but also benefit the pharmaceutical industry by developing plant-based antibodies and vaccines, which is cost-effective and safe. A fundamental requirement for the development of transgenic plant materials is to have an effective gene transfer system, which is able to produce high transformation events. Literature survey shows that existing transformation technologies face severe challenges with most of monocots and dicots cultivars. However, gene transfer experiments conducted by WCSAR during STS-95 and STS-101 showed that the transformation rates were significantly higher than the same experiments conducted on ground, which opened a door for the commercial investment of space-based plant genetic research facilities. The challenge is to develop in-flight analytical capability so that the science return is less dependent on the post mission process/analysis and the success of each flight. For example, the gene transfer experiment WCSAR conducted during STS-107 experienced 100% science loss due to the lack of analytical data during the flight. The goal of this proposal is to develop an automated and ground-based controlled ISS-based research tool that is able to in-situ detect fluorescent proteins, the reporter genes widely used for in-vivo monitoring gene expression, using active imaging spectroscopy sensors. Such technology can be incorporated into existing research facilities to enhance the science return, and minimize crew involvement time. This is crucial to research fields of plant transformation, gene manipulation (sequencing/knocking out), and plant genomics. More »

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.