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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Plant Genes
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Each year, approximately 60 new patents are issued by the U.S. Patent Office for USDA inventions. The Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) transfers these inventions through licenses to the private sector for commercialization. Below are links to the new technologies that are available for licensing. 

Docket

Title

Description

Contact

41.16  NEW

NOVEL CYTOCHROME P450 ENZYMES FROM SORGHUM BICOLOR

 

 

 

 

 

 

                      

Two novel cytochrome P450 genes isolated from sorghum, each gene encoding a protein having pentadecatrienyl resorcinol hydroxylase activity. Expression vectors containing these sequences are made and used to elevate levels of pentadecatrienyl resorcinol hydroxylase in transgenic cells and organisms. Divisional patent application.  Parent U.S. patent No. is 9,284,537.

Potential Commercial Applications:
- Potential use for engineering the production of sorgoleone and related phenolic lipids in crops for enhanced resistance to disease and for the ability to resist weed infestations

Competitive Advantages:
- Modification and expression of the sorghum cytochrome P450 enzymes in plant cells could increase sorgoleone levels, or alternatively, introduce its biosynthesis into species lacking the endogenous sorgoleone biosynthetic enzymes

thomas.valco@ars.usda.gov

joseph.lipovsky@ars.usda.gov

 

168.13

 

FUNCTIONAL ANALYSIS OF LAZY1 IN ARABIDOPSIS THALIANA AND PRUNUS TREES

A gene called LAZY1 characterized in Prunus trees that can be manipulated to influence branch angles and thus, overall tree architecture. Reduction of LAZY1 gene expression in Prunus species leads to wider branch angles, while increased gene expression leads to narrower and more upright tree growth. Our results establish that manipulation of the gene function results in changes in tree shape and can be used to engineer fruit or ornamental trees with desired branch angles.

Potential Commercial Applications
- Prunus tree industry including peach, plum, almond, apricot and cherry

Competitive Advantages
- Architectural improvements could lead to high density production, reduce manual labor costs, and reduce the volume of chemical inputs needed
- Easier management could translate to cost savings for growers and consumers
- Environmental benefit given that less agricultural land and chemical inputs are needed

jim.poulos@ars.usda.gov

169.13

 

THE EFFECT OF PPEGID1A ON VEGETATIVE GROWTH OF FRUIT TREES

 

A novel gene for a recessive dwarf trait in peach and its role in controlling tree size. Silencing the gene results in Prunus trees having a dwarf appearance while still retaining normal flower and fruit development. The degree of silencing corresponds to the degree of overall tree size.

Potential Commercial Applications
- Prunus tree industry
- Ornamental tree industry

Competitive Advantages
- Developing crop trees with different degrees of dwarfing could lead to high density production, reduce manual labor costs, and reduce the volume of chemical inputs needed
- Environmental benefit given that less agricultural land and chemical inputs are needed

jim.poulos@ars.usda.gov

183.07

 

SORGHUM-DERIVED TRANSCRIPTION REGULATORY ELEMENTS PREDOMINANTLY ACTIVE IN ROOT HAIR CELLS AND USES THEREOF

 


Transcription regulatory elements, namely promoter and terminator sequences, obtained from Sorghum bicolor that drive RNA transcription predominately in root hair cells, as well as cassettes, expression vectors, and genetically modified plants containing these transcription regulatory elements. The genetically modified plants can be gymnosperms, dicots, or monocots. Methods of directing transcription of a heterologous polynucleotide under control of these transcription regulatory elements in a genetically modified plant's root hair cells are also provided.

Potential Commercial Applications
- Overexpress transporters in root hairs to increase a plant's ability to extract nutrients from the soil or alternatively as a means of removing soil contaminants
- Highly express secretory signal proteins in root hairs which would then be secreted into soil for collection
- Use of root hair promoters to express gene products capable of synthesizing pesticidal compounds, which when secreted in soil would reduce the need for synthetic pesticide treatments

Competitive Advantages
- The transcription regulatory elements selectively direct gene expression in root hair cells of a plant

 

thomas.valco@ars.usda.gov

joseph.lipovsky@ars.usda.gov

 

177.12

 

DOUBLE STRANDED RNA CONSTRUCTS FOR APHID CONTROL

 

 

 

 

Double stranded RNA constructs and their use for inhibiting the expression of either Chloride Intracellular Channel protein (CLIC) or Sucrase to induce mortality in aphid species, including but not limited to Diuraphis noxia, Myzus persicae, and Schizaphis graminum.

Potential Commercial Applications
- Controlling aphids in crops

Competitive Advantages
- This RNAi technology has the potential to decrease dependence on chemical pesticides

bryan.kaphammer@ars.usda.gov

 

162.13

 

POTATO FERTILITY RESTORATION

 

Transgenic Bintje potato plants have been developed that restore fertility and seed ball formation in sterile potato plants. The gene used in transgenic development is a family 1 cellulose-binding-domain encoding gene from Phytophthora infestans. Bintje control plants are male and female sterile while the transgenic plants are male sterile and female fertile thus enabling crosses to be made into transgenic Bintje to obtain Bintje potatoes with favorable traits. The P. infestan RB gene for resistance to late blight, and genes responsible for color and tuber shape have been transferred into Bintje germplasm. Selection for the absence of the CBD1 transgene provides null-segregants that are considered non-transgenic, i.e., a non-transgenic potato having the desirable trait of resistance to late blight for example. 

Potential Commercial Applications
- The cultivar Bintje is one of the most widely used potatoes in Europe. Bintje has the advantage of having outstanding flavor, but some disadvantages are that it lacks disease resistance and the tubers are short and unsuitable for use commercially in the U.S., for example, where longer French fires are sold by fast food franchises. Thus, the possibility now exists for non-transgenic potatoes resulting from crosses with the transgenic Bintje potato to have the desirable traits of disease resistance and longer length while still maintaining the outstanding flavor of Bintje

Competitive Advantages
- Use of the CBD1 gene in transgenic Bintje will allow for the introduction of new traits into previously infertile cultivar  

jim.poulos@ars.usda.gov

248.12        

MUTANT SOYBEAN LINE

Seed phytate is a repository of phosphorus and minerals in soybean seeds which most animals (non-ruminant) such as humans, swine and poultry, cannot efficiently or effectively digest. A novel soybean line containing two recessive mutations which produces viable seeds that contain surprising reductions in total seed phytate and significantly higher levels of inorganic phosphate compared to normal soybeans is generated.        

                                                                                                          Potential Commercial Applications
- Use in a breeding operation focused on improving soybean meal for animal feed mixtures. The soybean meal would require less phosphorus and  micronutrient supplementation
- Soybean seeds for food applications which would have with improved micronutrient content (Iron, Zinc)


Competitive Advantages
- Increased bio-available phosphorus and certain micronutrients (Iron, Zinc), without the need to treat soybean meal with costly enzymes

renee.wagner@ars.usda.gov

168.11                 

A TRANSGENE CONSTRUCT TO IMPROVE FUSARIUM HEAD BLIGHT RESISTANCE IN WHEAT AND BARLEY

A gene encoding a wheat ethylene-responsive transcription factor was cloned into a plant gene expression vector. This vector when transformed into wheat and barley results in increased resistance to Fusarium head blight and other Fusarium-related diseases. The fungus responsible for this disease produces a mycotoxin that poses a significant threat to the human and animal health.

 

Potential Commercial Applications

Fusarium head blight disease results in close to $500 million in damage to the US wheat and barley crop. Transgenic plants expressing this gene results in significant resistance to this disease. 

 

Competitive Advantages

To date, no sources of wheat completely resistance to this disease have been found; therefore, fungicides are required for control. The problem is that the currently available registered fungicides only provide partial control (50-60%). Transgenic plants expressing this gene have significant resistance to this disease. 

renee.wagner@ars.usda.gov

53.12                 

BARLEY MUTANT LINES HAVING GRAIN WITH ULTRA-HIGH BETA GLUCAN CONTENT

A barley plant having grain with ultra-high beta-glucan content and total fiber.


Potential Commercial Application                                                                                     - Use as an critical parental line to significantly boost  beta-glucan content in food barley cultivars
- Use as parental line to significantly boost total dietary fiber in food barley development
- Directly use it as dietary fiber extraction source                                      

 

Competitive Advantages                                                                                                   - A lower starch, but not empty endosperm line like other high beta-glucan lines.
- Could provide high beta-glucan flour that is used in various food products.
- Plants have normal looking morphology

david.nicholson@ars.usda.gov

180.11                

NOVEL PPETAC1 GENE AND METHOD TO MANIPULATE TREE ARCHITECTURE

A gene (PpeTAC1) identified from peach can be manipulated to influence branching angle and thus, overall tree architecture. Silencing or overexpressing the gene controls the branch angles (either upright or spreading).      

                                                                                                                     Potential Commercial Applications
- Development of plant or tree varieties with erect growth habit for agriculture or ornamental uses


Competitive Advantages
- Increased planting density
- Improved plant water use efficiency
- Reduced chemical sprays
                                                             

jim.poulos@ars.usda.gov

 

 


Last Modified: 9/8/2016
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