Scientists at Fort Valley State University in the US have created a gene transfer method to slow down the ripening processin strawberry plants.
According to a story from Knight-Ridder scientists led by Seema Dhir have discovered a genetic transformation to make the fruit last longer. The new patent is entitled, 'Methods for strawberry transformation usingAgrobacterium tumefaciens'.According to the report the fact that the shelf life of strawberries can be extendedpresents new opportunities to create disease-resistant plants, change thenutritional value or even develop edible vaccines through geneticmodification.
It is not just a scientific concept anymore, but a reality to geneticallymodify plants to make them better, Dhir said.
Dhir, who worked for the biotechnology conglomerate Monsanto Corp. beforearriving at FVSU in 1994 - is the first faculty member at the college toreceive a patent since 1989.
The story reports that Dhir aims to move forward in her quest to secure patents for methods to genetically transform other foods, hopingeventually to see the day when people in Third World countries could bevaccinated by eating plants instead of getting a shot.