Cacao

Summary

The Penn State Research Foundation has filed patent applications in Europe and Australia (both now abandoned) and has been granted a United States patent related to transformation of cacao floral tissue or a cacao cell with Agrobacterium.

The invention sets out different steps for a method to transform cacao tissue. The steps include

  • induction of primary callus growth in a specified culture medium;
  • induction of secondary callus growth in a medium with specific requirements; and
  • embryo development in a specific hormone-free medium.

Specific Patent Information

Patent Number Title, Independent Claims and Summary of Claims Assignee
US 6150587

  • Earliest priority – 27 June 1997
  • Filed – 26 June 1998
  • Granted – 21 November 2000
  • Expected expiry – 25 June 2018
Title – Method and tissue culture media for inducing somatic embryogenesis, Agrobacterium-mediated transformation and efficient regeneration of cacao plants

Claim 1A method of inducing Agrobacterium -mediated transformation of cacao, which method comprises:

A) co-culturing a cacao floral tissue explant or cell with a non-tumorigenic Agrobacterium to produce a transformed embryogenic callus, wherein the cacao tissue explant or cell is cultured on a primary callus growth medium, said primary callus growth medium comprising DKW basal salts, a carbon source, and at least two growth regulators;
B) culturing the embryogenic callus produced in step (A) on a secondary callus growth medium having the property of inducing homeostatic growth and bipolar callus development, wherein the secondary callus growth medium is comprised of a low salt WPM basal medium, at least one growth regulator and a carbon source; and
C) culturing the callus produced in step (B) on a hormone-free embryo development medium having the property of inducing embryo differentiation, wherein the embryo development medium is comprised of a DKW basal medium and a carbon source.

Transformation of cacao floral tissue or cacao cells with a non-tumorigenic Agrobacterium. Media for cultivation of embryogenic callus and induction of embryo differentiation are also claimed.

Another granted patent US 6197587 and patent application US 2001/047524 A1 share the same priority documents as US 6150587, however the claims do not concern transformation of cacao plants. US 6197587 B1 recites a method of inducing somatic embryogenesis in a cacao tissue, and US 2001/047524 A1 recites a method of inducing somatic embryogenesis in a cacao tissue as well as regenerating cacao plantlets, and medium compositions for callus growth, embryo development, and regeneration.

Penn State Research Foundation

WO 1999/00008 A1

  • Earliest priority – 27 June 1997
  • Filed – 26 June 1998
  • OPI – 7 January 1999
Title – Method and tissue culture media for inducing somatic embryogenesis, Agrobacterium-mediated transformation and efficient regeneration of cacao plants

Claim 1
A method of inducing Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of cacao comprising the steps of:

(a) coculturing a cacao tissue explant or cell with a non-tumorigenic Agrobacterium to produce a transformed embryogenic callus;
(b) culturing the embryogenic callus produced in step (a) on an embryo development medium, said medium having the property of inducing embryo differentiation to obtain mature transformed somatic embryos.

Claim 16
A method of regenerating transformed cacao plantlets comprising the steps of:
(a) providing a transformed cacao somatic embryo;
(b) germinating said somatic embryo on a primary embryo conversion medium; and
(c) regenerating a transformed cacao plantlet on a secondary embryo conversion medium from a germinated embryo produced in step (b).
Claim 24
A method of regenerating transformed cacao plantlets comprising the steps of:
(a) providing a transformed cacao somatic embryo;
(b) culturing said somatic embryo on a plant regeneration medium.

PCT application WO 1999/00008 recite an Agrobacterium-mediated transformation method of cacao that is not limited to cacao floral tissue explant or cell as granted US 6150587 (see above), but of any cacao tissue explant or cell. Methods of regenerating transformed cacao plantlets are also recited.

Related PCT application WO 1999/00487 recites a method of inducing somatic embryogenesis in a cacao tissue as well as regenerating cacao plantlets, and medium compositions for callus growth, embryo development, and regeneration.

Remarks
  1. National phase entry of WO 1999/00008 in Australia (AU 81743/98) has lapsed on 9 March 2000.
  2. National phase entry of WO 1999/00008 in Europe (EP 999737) is deemed to be withdrawn on 12 March 2003.

Note: Patent information on this page was last updated on 13 March 2006.