Genetic Modification of Plants for Extended Uses

An interesting area of plant biotechnology research is that dealing with the modification of plants for different purposes such as value-added changes of the production of important and useful biologicals in plants. Through a number of collaborations, my lab is exploring different avenues for extended uses of tobacco and other crops. Research efforts include: (i) developing strategies for the simultaneous expression of several different proteins in plants; (ii) modification of metabolism in different subcellular compartments; (iii) modifying the distribution of heavy metals in plants; (iv) genetically engineering improved pathogen resistance; and (v) combining genetic and transgenic strategies to extend and improve virus resistance in plants.


Schardl, C., Byrd, A. D., Benzion, G. B., Altschuler, M. A., Hildebrand, D. F., and Hunt, A. G. (1987). Design and construction of a versatile system for the expression of foreign genes in plants. Gene 61, 1-11. (click here to go to a description of some of the pKYLX series of plant gene expression vectors)

Maiti, I. B., Hunt, A. G., and Wagner, G. J. (1988). Seed-transmissible expression of mammalian metallothionein in transgenic tobacco. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 150, 640-647.

Maiti, I. B., Wagner, G. J., Yeargan, R., and Hunt, A. G. (1989). Inheritance and expression of the mouse metallothionein gene in tobacco: Impact on Cd tolerance and tissue Cd distribution in seedlings. Plant Physiol. 91, 1020-1023.

Maiti, I. B., Wagner, G. J., and Hunt, A. G. (1991). Light-inducible and tissue-specific expression of a chimeric mouse metallothionein cDNA in tobacco. Plant Sci. 76, 94-107.

Yeargan, R., Maiti, I. B., Nielsen, M. T., Hunt, A. G., and Wagner, G. J. (1992). Tissue partitioning of Cd in transgenic tobacco seedlings and field plants expressing the mouse metallothionein I gene. Transgenic Res. 1, 261-267.

Maiti, I. B., Murphy, J. F., Shaw, J. G., and Hunt, A. G. (1993) Plants that express a potyvirus proteinase gene are resistant to virus infection. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 90, 6110-6114.

Vance, V. B., Berger, P. H., Carrington, J. C., Hunt, A. G., and Shi, X. M. (1995) 5' proximal potyviral sequences mediate potato virusX/potyviral synergistic disease in transgenic tobacco. Virology 206, 583-590.

Ghosh, S. K., Das Gupta, J., Maiti, I. B., Hunt, A. G., and Mandal, R. K. (1995) Expression of 2S seed storage protein gene of Brassica juncea in transgenic tobacco plants under constitutive and seed-specific promoters. J. Plant Biochem. and Biotechnol. 4, 1-4.

Xu, D., Collins, G. B., Hunt, A. G., and Nielsen, M. T. (1997) Field resistance of transgenic burley tobacco lines and hybrids expressing the tobacco vein mottling virus coat protein gene. Molecular Breeding 3, 291-306.

Xu, D., Collins, G. B., Hunt, A. G., and Nielsen, M. T. (1997) Factors affecting coat protein-mediated resistance against potyviruses in tobacco. Molecular Breeding 3, 331-339.

Torisky, R. S., Kovacs, L., Avdiushko, S. A., Newman, J. D., Hunt, A. G., and Collins, G. B. (1997) Development of a binary vector system for plant transformation based on the supervirulent Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain Chyr5. Plant Cell Reports 17, 102-108.

Fellers, J., Collins, G. B., and Hunt, A. G. (1998) The NIa-proteinase of different potyviruses provide specific resistance to virus infection. Crop Science 38, 1309-1319.

Xu, D., Collins, G. B., Hunt, A. G., and Nielsen, M. T. (1998) Resistance to alfalfa mosaic virus in transgenic burley tobacco expressing the AMV coat protein gene. Crop Science 38, 1661-1668.

Dasgupta, S., Collins, G. B., and Hunt, A. G. (1998) Coordinated expression of multiple enzymes in different subcellular compartments in plants. The Plant Journal 16.,107-116.

Xu, D., Collins, G. B., Hunt, A. G., and Nielsen, M. T. (1999) Agronomic performance of transgenic burley tobaccos expressing the TVMV or AMV coat protein genes with or without virus challenges. Crop Science 39, 1195-1202.

Maiti, I. B., Von Lanken, C., Hong, Y., and Hunt, A. G. (1999) Introduction of multiple virus-derived resistance determinants into transgenic plants does not result in additive resistance properties. Journal of Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology 8, 67-73.

Li, Q., Von Lanken, C. D., Yang, J., Lawrence, C. B., and Hunt, A. G. (2000) The yeast polyadenylate binding protein (PAB1) gene acts as a disease lesion mimic gene when expressed in plants. Plant Molecular Biology 42, 335-344.

Shen, S., Li, Q., He., S.-Y., Barker, K. R., Li, D., and Hunt, A. G. (2000) Conversion of compatible plant-microbe interactions into incompatible interactions by expression of the Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae 61 hrmA gene in transgenic tobacco plants. The Plant Journal 23, 205-214.

Maiti, I.B., Von Lanken, C., Pattanaik, S., and Hunt, A. G. (2004) Virus resistance in transgenic plants that express a functional potyvirus P1 proteinase gene. Transgenics 4, 137-150.

Addepali, B., Xu, R., Dattaroy, T., Li, B., Bass, W. T., Li, Q. Q., and Hunt, A. G. (2006) Disease resistance in plants that carry a feedback-regulated yeast poly(A) binding protein gene. Plant Molecular Biology, 61, 383-397.


Glenn Collins, University of Kentucky
Randy Dinkins, University of Kentucky
George Wagner, University of Kentucky

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