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NT Cell Transformations

This year the Nevada iGEM team has decided to utilize Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) NT1 cells due to its vigorous ability to grow rapidly as well as its simple and convenient model system characteristics. The original idea was to test the validity of utilizing Nicotiana tabacum (NT cells) as a model for the expression of higher plant genes for future iGEM competitions. Though the utilization of Arabidopsis was possible, we aimed to make a quick proof-of-concept test model that other iGEMers could utilize before moving synthetic constructs into plants of interest. This model system was specifically used to make the evaluation of our plant expression genes quick, simple and efficient. Typical whole-plant systems can take anywhere from a year or more to obtain results however the NT1 model system allowed us to obtain transformants on solid media in less than 5 weeks. The NT1 cell model system is also known to facilitate protein production and avoids typical complications of alternative in planta production – features highly advantageous to any type of research. Though this model system is new and unexplored in the iGEM areana, we found it to be extremely proficient and promising in terms of results.

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