The John Innes Centre, a leading plant sciences research centre based in Norwich, UK, has signed an exclusive commercial license agreement for technology that enhances the root systems of plants and with important implications for crop improvement to Dow AgroSciences. The deal was handled by the John Innes Centre’s technology transfer arm, Plant Bioscience Limited (PBL).
The commercial license covers a range of important agricultural crops. The technology was developed by Liam Dolan, who with colleagues has cloned and characterised 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.
Dale Sanders, Director of the John Innes Centre, said, “The technology was born out of basic research in nutrient uptake by plants and demonstrates the importance to agriculture of answering fundamental questions.”