Polymer-coated carbon nanotube hybrids with functional peptides for gene delivery into plant mitochondria
Simon Sau Yin Law, Geoffrey Liou, Yukiko Nagai, Joan Giménez-Dejoz, Ayaka Tateishi, Kousuke Tsuchiya, Yutaka Kodama, Tsuyohiko Fujigaya & Keiji Numata
The delivery of genetic material into plants has been historically challenging due to the cell wall barrier, which blocks the passage of many biomolecules. Carbon nanotube-based delivery has emerged as a promising solution to this problem and has been shown to effectively deliver DNA and RNA into intact plants. Mitochondria are important targets due to their influence on agronomic traits, but delivery into this organelle has been limited to low efficiencies, restricting their potential in genetic engineering. This work describes the use of a carbon nanotube-polymer hybrid modified with functional peptides to deliver DNA into intact plant mitochondria with almost 30 times higher efficiency than existing methods. Genetic integration of a folate pathway gene in the mitochondria displays enhanced plant growth rates, suggesting its applications in metabolic engineering and the establishment of stable transformation in mitochondrial genomes. Furthermore, the flexibility of the polymer layer will also allow for the conjugation of other peptides and cargo targeting other organelles for broad applications in plant bioengineering.
carbon, nanotube, peptides, DNA, RNA