Free tools for plant trait development
The OpenPlant initiative supports two tiers of research activities.
Development of open tools that will underpin systematic approaches to bioengineering of plants:
- A common syntax for plant DNA parts and hierarchical assembly of genetic circuits.
- Open DNA registries for sharing information, to join an international web of registries with plant specific DNA parts.
- Legal tools for open exchange of DNA parts and other reagents in biotechnology.
- Establishment of a database and archive for publication of DNA part descriptions.
- Development of a major new lower plant system as a simple and facile chassis for Synthetic Biology, to enable high throughput screening and analysis at the cellular scale.
- New DNA parts for the control and quantitative imaging of genetic circuits in plants.
- Techniques for routine genome-scale engineering in plants.
- Software tools with improved performance for DNA part catalogues, automated assembly, modelling of synthetic gene circuits and cellular morphogenesis.
Application of these approaches to the engineering of new traits in plants:
- Altered photosynthesis and leaf structure.
- Changes in plant carbohydrate content.
- Engineered pathways for the metabolic engineering of natural products.
- New forms of symbiosis and nitrogen fixation for crop plants.
- Methods for high level production of biomolecules by transient expression.