Patents granted to Syngenta Mogen B.V.

The disclosed invention is directed to the transformation of dicots using an Agrobacterium carrying binary vectors where the T-DNA is located in one plasmid and the vir region is located in a different plasmid. The separation of the T-DNA and the vir region on two different plasmids is the basic principle of binary vector systems.  The two United States patents are still in force, while the European and Japanese patents have reached their maximum 20 year protection term from filing and therefore have expired.

Specific Patent Information

Patent Number Title, Independent Claims and Summary of Claims Assignee
US 4940838

  • Earliest priority – 24 February 1983
  • Filed – 23 February 1984
  • Granted – 10 July 1990
  • Expected expiry – 10 July 2007
Title – Process for the incorporation of foreign DNA into the genome of dicotyledonous plants

Claim 1
A process for the incorporation of foreign DNA into chromosomes of dicotyledonous plants, comprising infecting the plants or incubating plant protoplasts with Agrobacterium bacteria, which contain plasmids, said Agrobacterium bacteria containing at least one plasmid having the vir-region of a Ti plasmid but no T-region, and at least one other plasmid having a T-region with incorporated therein foreign DNA but no vir-region.
Claim 13
A process for the production of Agrobacterium bacteria which contains at least one plasmid which has the vir-region of a Ti-plasmid but no T-region and at least one other plasmid which has a T-region with foreign DNA incorporated in it but no vir-region, comprising:

(a) using Escherichia coli as a host and incorporating foreign DNA into a plasmid therein which contains a T-region and a replicator having a broad bacterial host range
(b) introducing the resulting plasmid into Agrobacterium bacteria which contain at least one plasmid which has the vir-region of a Ti-plasmid but no T-region.

The United States patent 4 940 838 claims

  • an Agrobacterium having binary vectors where the T-DNA region and the vir region are located in two different plasmids. The plasmid that contains the T-region lacks the vir region, and vice versa. The vir region is fundamental for the transfer of the T-region into the plant genome.
  • the integration of foreign DNA into the genome of a dicot plant. The foreign DNA is located in the T-region

Syngenta Mogen B.V.

US 5464763

  • Earliest priority – 24 February 1983
  • Filed – 23 December 1993
  • Granted – 7 November 1995
  • Expected expiry – 10 July 1997
Title – Process for the incorporation of foreign DNA into the genome of dicotyledonous plants

Claim 1
A process for incorporating into the genome of dicotyledonous plants foreign DNA, comprising infecting the plants or plant cells or incubating plant protoplasts with Agrobacterium strains, which contain plasmids, said Agrobacterium strains containing at least one plasmid having the vir-region of a Ti plasmid but no T-region, and at least one other plasmid having a T-region but no vir-region, said T-region being composed of naturally occurring border sequences consisting of about 23 base pairs at the extremities of said T-region and only foreign DNA between said border sequences, the vir-region plasmid and the T-region plasmid containing no homology which could lead to cointegrate formation.
Claim 2
Agrobacterium strains, comprising at least one plasmid having the vir-region of a Ti plasmid but no T-region, and at least one other plasmid having a T-region but no vir-region, said T-region being composed of naturally occurring border sequences consisting of about 23 base pairs at the extremities of said T-region and only foreign DNA between said sequences, the vir-region plasmid and the T-region plasmid containing no homology which could lead to cointegrate formation.
Claim 3
A process for the production of Agrobacterium strains comprising at least one plasmid having the vir-region of a Ti plasmid but no T-region, and at least one other plasmid having a T-region but no vir-region, said T-region being composed of naturally occurring border sequences consisting of about 23 base pairs at the extremities of said T-region and only foreign DNA between said border sequences, the vir-region plasmid and the T-region plasmid containing no homology which could lead to cointegrate formation, said process comprising:

(a) incorporating non-Agrobacterium foreign DNA into a plasmid having a T-region and a replicator having a broad bacterial host range, wherein said foreign DNA becomes part of the T-region,

(b) cloning the resulting plasmid in Escherichia coli; and

(c) introducing the resulting plasmid into Agrobacterium strains which contain at least one plasmid which has the vir-region of a Ti-plasmid but no T-region.

Claim 12
A process for incorporating in the genome of dicotyledonous plants foreign DNA, comprising infecting the plants or plant cells or incubating plant protoplasts with Agrobacterium strains, which contain plasmids, said Agrobacterium strains containing at least one plasmid having the vir-region of a Ti-plasmid but no T-region, and at least one other plasmid having a single T-region but no vir-region, said single T-region being composed of naturally occurring border sequences at the extremities of said single T-region, the vir-region plasmid and the T-region plasmid containing no homology which could lead to cointegrate formation.

Granted US 5464763 is a continuation of US 07/550736 (now abandoned), which is a continuation of now granted US 4940838 (see above).

The United States patent US 5464763 includes the elements and methods claims of the United States patent US 4940838 and additionally claims

  • the presence of only foreign DNA between the 23 bp borders of the T-region, and
  • the absence of a region of homology between the plasmid having the T-region and the plasmid bearing the vir region that might lead to cointegrate formation. This characteristic is essential to maintain the two plasmids as individual molecules.
EP 120516

  • Earliest priority – 24 February 1983
  • Filed – 21 February 1984
  • Granted – 23 October 1991
  • Expired – 21 February 2004
Title – A process for the incorporation of foreign DNA into the genome of dicotyledonous plants; Agrobacterium tumefaciens bacteria and a process for the production thereof

Claim 1
A process for the incorporation of foreign DNA into chromosomes of dicotyledonous plants comprising infecting the plants or incubating plant protoplasts with Agrobacterium bacteria, which contain plasmids, said Agrobacterium bacteria containing at least one plasmid having the vir-region of a Ti-plasmid but no T-region, and at least one other plasmid having an artificial T-region with only foreign DNA between the 23 base pairs at the extremeties of the wild type T-region, but no vir-region, the vir-region plasmid and the T-region plasmid containing no homology which could lead to cointegrate formation.
Claim 2
Agrobacterium bacteria, comprising at least one plasmid having the vir-region of a Ti-plasmid but no T- region, and at least one other plasmid having an artificial T-region with only foreign DNA between the 23 base pairs at the extremeties of the wild type T-region, but no vir-region, the vir-region plasmid and the T-region plasmid containing no homology which could lead to cointegrate formation.

Designated States at the time of grant are: Austria (cancelled as reported on INPADOC), Belgium (expired as reported on INPADOC), Switzerland (ceased as reported on INPADOC), Germany, France, United Kingdom (expired as reported on INPADOC), Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands (lapsed as reported on INPADOC), Sweden

The subject matter claimed in the European patent 120516 B1 is a combination of the claims of the United States patents. In the European patent, the T-region of one of the binary vectors is claimed as an artificial T-region, which contains only foreign DNA between the 23 bp T-border sequences.

Remarks Related patents granted in Japan (JP 7036751 and JP 7046993, both expired on 23 February 2004 as reported by the Japan Patent Office).

Note: Patent information on this page was last updated on 24 February 2006.