Tobacco Leaf Cell Colonies

Description (Brief)
This object is a sample of tobacco leaf cell colonies that have been successfully genetically transformed using the biolistic gene gun prototype produced by John Sanford, Ed Wolf, and Nelson Allen at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Biolistic gene guns are used to genetically transform plants by shooting microprojectiles (tiny bullets) covered in DNA into plant cells. The blue color of the cells is due to one of the genes that was inserted, the GUS reporter system. Cells in which the GUS gene was successfully taken in and utilized produced a blue chemical. The blue cells therefore represented the success of the genetic transformation via the biolistic process.
To learn more about biolistic gene guns, please see gene gun prototype II (object number 1991.0785.02) or gene gun prototype III (object number 1991.0785.01.1).
Currently not on view
Object Name
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
average spatial: 1.6 cm x 6.1 cm; 5/8 in x 2 3/8 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Biolistic Gene Guns
Biotechnology and Genetics
Science & Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Biological Sciences
Biotechnology and Genetics
Biolistic Gene Guns
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.