Dow agrosciences licenses exclusive novel crop enhancement technology
2 November 2010
The John Innes Centre is pleased to announce an exclusive commercial license agreement for BBSRC-funded technology that enhances the root systems of plants and with important implications for crop improvement. JIC's technology management company Plant Bioscience Limited (PBL) is licensing the technology to Dow AgroSciences.
Dow AgroSciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW), entered into an exclusive commercial license agreement with Plant Bioscience Limited (PBL) for technology that enhances the root systems of plants with important implications for crop improvement. The commercial license covers a range of important agricultural crops.
The technology was developed by Dr. Liam Dolan and his colleagues at the John Innes Centre, an institute of the BBSRC on the Norwich Research Park. With BBSRC funding, the team cloned and characterized genes which may play vital roles in anchorage, water use and nutrient uptake in plants. The genes are highly conserved among land plants and the technology has already been shown to be effective in enhancing root systems in transgenic plants of major crops around the world.
"Our research aims to answer key questions in biology and to provide solutions to important problems in food security, energy production, promoting health and combating disease," said Professor Dale Sanders, Director of the John Innes Centre. "The technology was born out of basic research in nutrient uptake by plants and demonstrates the importance to agriculture of answering fundamental questions."
"Dow AgroSciences is excited to be collaborating with one of the most respected organizations in the biotechnology industry," said Dan Kittle, Ph.D., vice president of Dow AgroSciences. "By combining our expertise in biotech crops and PBL's innovative technology from JIC, we have the opportunity to enhance a plant's ability to survive stress, increase nutrient utilization, and provide yield stability in challenging years or in parts of the world where there are less than favorable growing conditions."
The technology could bring improved crop varieties to the agricultural market and help open new markets.
"We are delighted to enter this partnership with Dow AgroSciences," said Dr Jan Chojecki, Managing Director of PBL. "This technology has real potential to benefit agriculture and address global challenges of food production, and Dow AgroSciences' acknowledged strength in developing and commercializing new crop products is the key to achieving this important goal."
The commercial license covers a range of important agricultural crops.
Note: Liam Dolan is presently Sherardian Professor of Botany, in the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford.
Plant Bioscience Limited (PBL) is a technology management company specialising in plant, food and microbial science, owned by The John Innes Centre, The Sainsbury Laboratory and The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). As well as managing innovations from John Innes Centre, PBL also handles technologies from public sector research organisations around the world. For more information see www.pbltechnology.com.
About the John Innes Centre
The John Innes Centre, www.jic.ac.uk, is an independent, world-leading research centre in plant and microbial sciences with over 500 staff. JIC is based on Norwich Research Park and carries out high quality fundamental, strategic and applied research to understand how plants and microbes work at the molecular, cellular and genetic levels. The JIC also trains scientists and students, collaborates with many other research laboratories and communicates its science to end-users and the general public. The JIC is grant-aided by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.
About Dow AgroSciences
Dow AgroSciences LLC, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, is a top-tier agricultural company providing innovative agrochemical and biotechnology solutions globally. The company, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, has sales of $4.5Bn. Learn more at www.dowagro.com.
About The Dow Chemical Company
Dow combines the power of science and technology with the "Human Element" to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2009, Dow had annual sales of $45Bn and employed approximately 52,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 214 sites in 37 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com.
BBSRC is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £470M in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life in the UK and beyond and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders, including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.
BBSRC provides institute strategic research grants to the following:
- The Babraham Institute
- Institute for Animal Health
- Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (Aberystwyth University)
- Institute of Food Research
- John Innes Centre
- The Genome Analysis Centre
- The Roslin Institute (University of Edinburgh)
- Rothamsted Research
The Institutes conduct long-term, mission-oriented research using specialist facilities. They have strong interactions with industry, Government departments and other end-users of their research.