Professor Richard Clague Gardner from the Royal Academy of Sciences of New Zealand, University of Auckland, visited Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences at the invitation of Professor Qinhong Wang on November 13.
Professor Richard gave a lecture entitled "Transposable elements" hosted by Professor Chaoguang Tian of TIB. During the lecture, Professor Richard systematically and comprehensively introduced related knowledge about the transposable elements (TEs) for the process from discovery to application. He took maize for example to elaborate TEs’ important role in gene variants. He introduced gene transfer process mediated by transposase enzyme in simple terms around three TEs types: the insertion sequences, transposons, bacteriophages. Subsequently, Professor Richard presented TEs’ broad application scale in future from gene knockout, simple cloning, gene transfer, gene sequencing.
Professor Richard has centered his research on the application of genetics to the improvement of both crops and yeasts. In particular, he has focused on the integration of genetic engineering approaches and breeding in the development of new varieties and strains. He has published more than 130 papers on molecular genetic methods and their application in crop plants, particularly in kiwifruit, apples, pine trees and ryegrass, which are the most important crop plants in New Zealand. Most recently he has applied the results in the development of new commercial strains of wine yeasts. Their lead strain is in commercial production for trials in 2012, and a range of new strains are in pre-commercial trials.