Patent applications filed by Lee KH and Kim SJ

Technology Overview

A Korean research team lead by Dr Sang-Jong Kim at the College of Natural Sciences, Seoul National University, isolated a freshwater bacterium that was sensitive to phenol (Janthinobacterium lividum YH9), transformed it with a luciferase gene (luxAB) and deposited under KCTC 0730BP.  In contrast to the many other bioreporter systems, bioluminescence is constitutive in the transgenic J. lividum, and exposure of the strain to toxic substances will result in a decrease in the level of luminescence.  The research team subsequently produced an automated toxicity test system with the transgenic J. lividum, which includes software to analyse real-time bioluminescence (BactoTox®) described in Cho et al. (2004).  A novel continuous toxicity test system using a luminously modified freshwater bacterium.  Biosens Bioelectron. 20(2):338-44.

Details of patent documents

Patent or Publication No. Title, Independent Claims and Summary Assignee and licensing information
US 2001/034039

  • Earliest priority – 3 Mar 2000
  • Filed – 23 Feb 2001
  • Application abandoned – 27 Oct 2003
  • Expected expiry – not applicable
Title – Bioluminescent organism for detecting toxic substances

Claim 1
YH9-RC deposited under KCTC 0730BP reacts with toxic substances to show change in the degree of luminescence.
Claim 2
A method for detecting toxic substances comprisingthe step of determining the existence and the concentration of toxic substances using a microorganism, wherein

  • the microorganism is YH9-RC deposited under KCTC 0730BP, and
  • an aldehyde is added as a substrate so that the microorganism can emit light.
Claim 5
A kit for analyzing toxic substances comprising

  • a toxic substance sample,
  • a microorganism which reacts with the toxic substance to show change in the degree of luminescence,
  • a reactor where the sample reacts with the microorganism, and
  • a light-detection apparatus which can detect light emitted from the microorganism, wherein

the microorganism is YH9-RC deposited under KCTC 0730BP, and an aldehyde is introduced into the reactor so that the microorganism can emit light.

The claims are generally drawn towards:

  • YH9-RC (transgenic Janthinobacterium lividum strain containing luxAB) deposited under KCTC 0730BP (claim 1)
  • a method for detecting toxic substances using YH9-RC (claim 2)
  • a kit for analyzing toxic substances comprising YH9-RC (claim 5)

Definitions extracted from the specification are:

  • YH9-RC – Rifampicin resistant J. lividum containing plasmid pUTluxAB (Herrero et al. (1990). Transposon vectors containing non-antibiotic resistance selection markers for cloning and stable chromosomal insertion of foreign genes in Gram-negative bacteria. J. Bacteriol. 172:6557-6567)
  • Toxic substances – there is no definition for this term. The inventors suggest ‘a variety of toxic substances’ can be detected with this method, ‘and particularly they show excellent sensitivity to organic compounds such as phenol, benzene, toluene, xylene, etc., and heavy metals such as Al, As, Cd, Co, Cr(VI), Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Pb, Se, Zn, etc.’

Comments:

Since this is a published application and not a granted patent, currently there are no enforceable rights.

Lee KH

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE MAJOR HANKUK UNIVERSITY OF FOREIGN STUDIES WANGSAN-RI, MOHYEON
YONGIN-CITY, KYUNGKIO-DO, REPUBLIC OF KOREA

Kim SJ

MOKDONG APT. 907-1304 SHINJEONG 1-DONG, YANGCHEON-KU
SEOUL, REPUBLIC OF KOREA

EP 1148141

  • Earliest priority – 3 Mar 2000
  • Filed – 24 Feb 2001
  • Application deemed to be withdrawn – 9 Mar 2005
  • Expected expiry – not applicable
Title – Bioluminescent organism for detecting toxic substances

Claim 1
YH9-RC deposited under KCTC 0730BP reacts with toxic substances to show change in the degree of luminescence.
Claim 2
A method for detecting toxic substances comprisingthe step of determining the existence and the concentration of toxic substances using a microorganism, wherein

  • the microorganism is YH9-RC deposited under KCTC 0730BP, and
  • an aldehyde is added as a substrate so that the microorganism can emit light.
Claim 5
A kit for analyzing toxic substances comprising

  • a toxic substance sample,
  • a microorganism which reacts with the toxic substance to show change in the degree of luminescence,
  • a reactor where the sample reacts with the microorganism, and
  • a light-detection apparatus which can detect light emitted from the microorganism, wherein

the microorganism is YH9-RC deposited under KCTC 0730BP, and an aldehyde is introduced into the reactor so that the microorganism can emit light.

The claims are generally drawn towards:

  • YH9-RC (Janthinobacterium lividum strain) deposited under KCTC 0730BP (claim 1)
  • a method for detecting toxic substances using YH9-RC (claim 2)
  • a kit for analyzing toxic substances comprising YH9-RC (claim 5)

Comments:

Since this is a published application and not a granted patent, currently there are no enforceable rights.

Remarks
  1. Related patent granted in Japan (JP 3481212, currently in force, maintenance fee paid to 10 Oct 2006).
  2. Other related patent documents in Kuwait (KR 2001086843).

Search strategy

Search details
Date of search 28/04/2006
Database searched Patent Lens
Type of search Simple, stemming on
Collections searched AU-B, US-A, US-B, EP-B, WO
Search terms Janthinobacterium AND (Kim in inventor)
Results 1
Comments