Cloning plant DNA is a key step for genetic engineering, gene studies, and other applications in plant research, both in discovery and applied settings. Plant biotechnology continues to create new opportunities in agriculture, environmental biology, chemical production, and medicine. The development of genetically modified crops with valued traits like herbicide and pest resistance, drought and salt tolerance, or increased yield requires different combinations of expression elements to achieve optimum effects.


Applications like engineering plants for phytoremediation or biofuel research often involve complex design and assembly of DNA elements that require advanced cloning tools. Moreover, if the ultimate goal is expression of foreign genes in plants, there are more extensive technical challenges in plant systems than are encountered with other heterologous expression systems.

Life Technologies has three key platforms to support cloning and expression in plant cells:

GeneArt® DNA Assembly Kits

Our latest technology for cloning complex DNA elements simultaneously. The construction of T-DNA vectors or vectors for particle bombardment or electroporation in plants cells is now easier with two new cloning and DNA assembly platforms. Make multiple vectors to test the effect of regulatory sequences in your plant of interest, or stack traits on the same expression vector for crop enhancement.

These tools can help you power your research to answer the questions that matter and fulfill the potential of plant biotechnology:

  • GeneArt® Seamless Cloning and Assembly Kit: Clone up to 4 DNA fragments simultaneously into virtually any linearized vector, typically in 30 minutes, without extra DNA sequences, restriction endonucleases, or ligation.

  • GeneArt® High-Order Assembly System: Simultaneously and seamlessly clone up to 10 DNA fragments, for total construct sizes up to 110 kb. Clone preexisting DNA fragments that have no end homology, without further modifications. 

Gateway® Cloning

The expression platform of choice for plant systems, with a wide range of vectors for different plant species and purposes. Adapted Gateway® vectors for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation, silencing studies, and many other applications have been cited in over 150 peer-reviewed articles. Many of these vectors have been made available from academic and commercial entities.

Some of these are listed here:


Learn more about Gateway® Cloning.

GeneArt® Gene Synthesis

We offer GeneArt® gene synthesis services for the design of synthetic genes with enhanced heterologous gene expression in transgenic plants, or for those cases where you don’t have access to the DNA template of interest.

Below are a few selected references where gene synthesis has been used in tobacco, barley, wheat, and other plant biotechnology applications.

  • J. Joensuu, A. Conley, M. Lienemann et al. (2010) Hydrophobin Fusions for High-Level Transient Protein Expression and Purification in Nicotiana benthamiana. Plant Physiology 152:622–633.
  • R. Espley, C. Brendolise, D. Chagne et al. (2009) Multiple Repeats of a Promoter Segment Causes Transcription Factor Autoregulation in Red Apples. Plant Cell 21:168–183.
  • P. Lessard, H. Kulaveerasingam, G. York et al.  (2002) Manipulating gene expression for the metabolic engineering of plants. Metabolic Engineering 4:67–79.
  • H. Horvath, J. Huang, O. Wong et al.  (2000) The production of recombinant proteins in transgenic barley grains. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 97:1914–1919.


Learn more about GeneArt® Gene Synthesis