Thermo Fisher Scientific Designs One-of-a-Kind Robotic Workflow Solution

Robotic System at Donald Danforth Center to Provide Information to Improve Crops and Meet Demands of a Growing, Changing Population

CANADA - Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, has supplied a revolutionary robotic system at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, MO. Researchers will use the Yeast 1 Hybrid solution to automate the interactions of plant genomes with their transcription factors. By understanding the control of plant growth and response to stresses such as drought, flooding or cold, the lab aims to gain information necessary to improve crops and meet the demands of a growing and changing population.

There are between 30,000 and 60,000 genes in most plant genomes, and the transcription of each can be up- or down-regulated by transcription factors that bind to the promoter region of the genes. The manual assessment of each transcription factor and its effect on each gene is a time-consuming, laborious task. The larger, custom-built automated workflow system, on the other hand, integrates 16 instruments to perform 200,000 DNA protein interaction experiments per week. Manually, an individual can perform 2,000 experiments, and that work is often monotonous and grueling.

"The introduction of these robots will open up new avenues of research in plant science," said Dr. Todd Mockler, associate member and Geraldine J. and Robert L. Virgil Distinguished Investigator at the Donald Danforth Plant Center. "We plan to systematically investigate all of DNA binding proteins in the plants we study and assess their interactions with the regulatory DNA next to the genes. This will allow us to know which particular DNA binding protein controls which genes. When we have identified all of these interactions, we can start making informed decisions about which genes to tweak to elicit certain effects on the plant - enabling them to grow better in drought conditions for example."

As a trusted partner in automation, engineers at Thermo Fisher closely collaborated with scientists at the Donald Danforth Center to provide all required functionality. For further information, please visit

About The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research at the Danforth Center will feed the hungry and improve human health, preserve and renew the environment, and enhance the St. Louis region and Missouri as a world center for plant science. The Center's work is funded through competitive grants and contract revenue from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Agency for International Development, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

About Thermo Fisher Scientific

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is the world leader in serving science. Our mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. With revenues of nearly $11 billion, we have approximately 37,000 employees and serve customers within pharmaceutical and biotech companies, hospitals and clinical diagnostic labs, universities, research institutions and government agencies, as well as in environmental and process control industries. We create value for our key stakeholders through two premier brands, Thermo Scientific and Fisher Scientific, which offer a unique combination of continuous technology development and the most convenient purchasing options. Our products and services help accelerate the pace of scientific discovery, and solve analytical challenges ranging from complex research to routine testing to field applications. Visit

Laboratory Automation 1204TFSSID

Jeanette Minshall, Thermo Fisher Scientific

+1 905-332-2000 ext. 319

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