Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Chilton, Mary-Dell
Location Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc.
Primary Field Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences
 Election Citation
Chilton has shown that the crown-gall tumors of plants are caused by the transfer of a small piece of DNA from a plasmid in the pathogen, Agrobacterium tumefaciens, into the host plant, where it becomes part of its genome. The T-DNA can furthermore be used to transfer genes between pro- and eucaryotic organisms. Chilton's work has thus been essential in transforming genetic engineering of plants from science fiction to science.
 Research Interests
One of my research areas includes plant genetic engineering, crop improvement, biological control organisms, Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Agrobacterium rhizogenes as gene transfer agents, and vectors for introducing new genes into plants. Another area focuses on chromatin structure and scaffold attachment regions and their effect on transgene expression and stability.

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