Duckweeds are small, fresh-water plants with a world-wide distribution. They are exploited for protein production due to two unusual aspects of their growth: the plants reproduce vegetatively by budding and under intensive culture they accumulate a very high rate of biomass. The level of protein production can achieve that obtained with yeast gene expression systems.
Two entities have patents and patent applications directed to Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of duckweed:
- North Carolina State University has been granted a United States patent directed to transformation of duckweed tissue with Agrobacterium having a gene of interest. The invention further comprises a method for mass production of recombinant proteins or peptides from duckweed cultures.
- Yeda Research & Development Co. has filed patent applications in Europe, Australia and Canada directed to a transformed Lemnaceae plant with Agrobacterium. Lemnaceae is the name of the botanical family to which duckweed belongs. Duckweeds from the genera Spirodela, Lemna and Wolffia are used for the production of various chemical and biological products. The claims as filed recite different methods for the transformation of Lemnaceae such as in planta transformation, microinjection of Agrobacterium cells into meristematic plant cells and incubation of meristematic plant cells with Agrobacterium.
Although the inventions disclosed by both institutes may overlap in terms of the subject matter, they have been filed in different countries. The claims as filed by Yeda Research & Development Co. in the European patent application are broad and may have a different scope if granted.
Duckweed – Specific Patent Information
|Patent Number||Title, Independent Claims and Summary of Claims||Assignee|
||Title – Genetically Engineered Duckweed
A method for transforming a duckweed tissue by co-cultivating the tissue with Agrobacterium having a sequence of interest. A method for producing recombinant proteins or peptides by culturing transformed duckweed plants expressing the proteins or peptides and collecting them form the cultured plants.
North Carolina State University
|AU 775632 B2
||Title – Genetically engineered duckweed
Granted AU 775632 recites a method to produce stably transformed duckweed with duckweed callus tissue with a (‘heterologous’ or ‘chimeric’) nucleotide sequence of interest, which comprises
|EP 1021552 A1
||Title – Transgenic Lemnaceae
* Claims directly related to Agrobacterium -mediated transformation of a Lemnaceae plant.
Different methods for stable genetic transformation of a Lemnaceae plant with Agrobacterium containing a gene of interest. The methods include incubating the plants with Agrobacterium, incubating meristematic tissue with the bacterium, injecting the bacterium into the meristematic tissue and in planta transformation. The invention also includes methods for enhancing the virulence of Agrobacterium and for regenerating calli and transformed plants.
Yeda Research & Development Co.
|AU 759570 B2
||Title – Transgenic Lemnaceae
This granted patent claims any Lemnaceae plant, part or whole, that is transformed using Agrobacterium.
It also claims a method of Agrobacterium-mediated transformation using the meristematic tissue of Lemnaceae plants.
Note: Patent information on this page was last updated on 9 March 2006.