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A Review of Nanotechnology as a Novel Method of Gene Transfer in Plants


S.L. Rasmiya Begum ,

South Eastern University of Sri Lanka, LK
About S.L.

Department of Biosystems Technology, Faculty of Technology, South Eastern University of Sri Lanka

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N.U. Jayawardana

University of Peradeniya;Sri Lanka, LK
About N.U.
Department of Agricultural Biology; Faculty of Agriculture; University of Peradeniya;Sri Lanka
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Purpose: Nanotechnology has evolved as an effective tool in numerous fields including agriculture, medicine and engineering. Recently it’s potential as an alternative genetic transformation method has been identified. However, a comprehensive understanding over nanoparticles and their behavior in living cells is important to realize the full potential of this technology in biotechnological applications. Therefore, we review the application potential of widely employed nanoparticles in plant transformation here.

Literature/Background: Development of new crop varieties with desirable traits via biotechnological applications is a solution for challenges associated with climate change and higher population growth. In such aspects, transformation of plant cells which is known as the process of changing one’s genome by integration exogenous DNA, is an absolute necessity and results far better and improved stable characteristics in original. Rigid and multi layered cell wall impedes penetration of exterior biomolecules and hence causes the transformation process complicated. Even though, numerous conventional methods have been established for plant transformation, lower transformation efficiency, tissue damage and random integration of transgenes warrants the need for novel approaches. In this context, novel techniques have been explored and as a result nanoparticles have been found effective in transformation of protoplasts as well as intact plant cells. Nanoparticles internalized either via endocytosis or direct penetration release transgenes from nanoparticle-DNA complexes and result in transient or stable expression. Nanoparticles ensure higher transformation efficiency, no transgenic silencing and protection of biogenic molecules from degradation by intracellular nucleases.

How to Cite: Begum, S.L.R. and Jayawardana, N.U., 2021. A Review of Nanotechnology as a Novel Method of Gene Transfer in Plants. Journal of Agricultural Sciences – Sri Lanka, 16(2), pp.300–316. DOI:
Published on 01 May 2021.
Peer Reviewed


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