Engineering chloroplasts: an alternative site for foreign genes, proteins, reactions and products

Trends Biotechnol. 2000 Jun;18(6):257-63. doi: 10.1016/s0167-7799(00)01444-x.


Plant genetic engineering via the nucleus is a mature technology that has been used very productively for research and commercial biotechnology. By contrast, the ability to introduce foreign genes at specific locations on a chloroplast's chromosome has been acquired relatively recently. Certain limitations of nuclear genome transformation methods might be overcome by the site-specific introduction of genes into plastid chromosomes. In addition, plastids, mitochondria and other subcellular organelles might provide more favorable environments than the nuclear-cytoplasmic compartment for certain biochemical reactions and for accumulating large amounts of some gene and enzyme products.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carbon Dioxide / metabolism
  • Chloroplasts / genetics*
  • Chloroplasts / metabolism
  • Forecasting
  • Genetic Engineering / methods*
  • Genetic Heterogeneity
  • Genetic Techniques
  • Nitrogen / metabolism
  • Operon
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Plastids / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics*
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Nitrogen