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2000 News

December 2000

MTA Requests

Since the start of the year PBL has processed a total of 67 requests for material transfer agreements (MTAs) to allow academic access to PBL technologies. These technologies are now being used in labs around the world, increasing the knowledge about how they work and generating important new data. PBL is keen to encourage academic collaboration of this type and acts to facilitate it wherever possible. We are pleased to announce that the most popular technology this year was EDS1 for disease resistance, and GAI, the dwarfing gene for increased yield. If you want further information on accessing PBL technologies for academic research then please contact us with details of your request.

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December 2000

Plant and Animal Genome IX, San Diego

PBL will be exhibiting at the Plant and Animal Genome meeting in San Diego (14-17th January 2001) (http://www.intl-pag.org/). We will be exhibiting a range of our current technologies, with particular focus on genomics, and will be keen to meet academics and commercial companies who are interested in evaluating any of the technologies in our portfolio. We have already arranged a number of meetings with current and potential partners and anyone who is interested in working with PBL should contact Jan Chojecki or see us at the conference (stand 405).

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October 2000

FRI Gene Published in "Science"

PBL is pleased to report the publication in the prestigious journal Science the cloning of the FRIGIDA (FRI) gene by Professor Caroline Dean and colleagues at the John Innes Centre (JIC). This important discovery relating to the control of flowering time in plants was widely covered in the media, including an article in The Financial Times ("Inside: Science and Medicine" 13/10/00).

The FRI gene will have utility in controlling flowering time in a wide variety of crops, but particularly in crops where bolting control is important. The dominant allele confers an extreme late flowering phenotype that can be reversed by vernalisation. FRI is just one of many flowering gene technologies developed at the JIC and available for commercialisation through PBL.

For further information about commercial opportunities utilising this technology please contact Jan Chojecki at PBL.

Science reference:
Molecular analysis of FRIGIDA, a major determinant of natural variation in Arabidopsis flowering time. Johanson, J, et al (2000). Science 290, 344-347.

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September 2000

PBL Speakers at upcoming meetings

PBL will have two speakers at international meetings during October.

Rothamsted, UK
Alastair Hick will be speaking at Rothamsted Biomarket, which runs from 18-20 October. International academics and commercial organisations involved in the technology transfer process will be attending, giving PBL the opportunity to broaden its network of worldwide contacts.

Wageningen, The Netherlands
Rupert Osborn will be speaking at the European Plant Biotechnology Network (EPBN) Industry Contact meeting in Wageningen. The meeting, from 26-28 October, will provide a base from which PBL can strengthen its links with European academics and industry specialising in plant biotechnology.

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August 2000

New US Granted Patent

PBL is pleased to announce that the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued the company a patent in the area of flowering control. The CONSTANS (CO) gene of Arabidopsis was cloned by George Coupland of the John Innes Centre, UK, and Jo Putterill of the University of Auckland.

The patent (US 6077 994) covers CO from Arabidopsis and homologues from Brassica species and use of these genes in all plant species. CO can be used to advance flowering time by overexpression. For further details please contact Jan Chojecki at PBL.

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July 2000

Success in Quebec

PBL's Rupert Osborn and Alastair Hick recently attended the International Society for Plant Molecular Biology (ISPMB) meeting in Quebec.

During the conference week (18-24 June) we were one of a number of exhibiting companies, and, with several thousand delegates attending, this gave us an ideal opportunity to meet with many companies and scientists, and to talk with both existing and potential licensees and clients.

We also met with some of our academic inventor scientists from Universities outside of the UK and had many enquiries from other worldwide institutes regarding our technology portfolio and range of intellectual property services.

Conference delegates also attended a full Scientific Program with presentations given by world-renowned scientists. Of specific interest was a talk on Gene Silencing by plenary speaker Professor David Baulcombe of the Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich. For further information on this technology please contact Jan Chojecki.

If you met us at the Conference and would like to discuss any aspect of our technology and / or services please do contact Jan Chojecki.

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May 2000

ISPMB 2000 Quebec

PBL is pleased to announce that we will be attending the International Society of Plant Molecular Biologists meeting in Quebec City over the week 18-24 June 2000.

Our stand will feature displays on the range of technologies that we have to offer commercial and academic partners.

We will be using the week to meet many of our international clients who do not have the opportunity to meet us in Norwich, UK. Meetings have already been arranged with a number of current and potential partners and anyone interested in discussing the services that PBL has to offer should contact Jan Chojecki, or see us at the meeting.

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May 2000

SEB 2000 Exeter

PBL recently attended the Society for Experimental Biology meeting in Exeter, UK over the week 27-31 March 2000.

The week was a great success and we welcomed many interested visitors to our stand in the exhibition hall, giving them the opportunity to see the range of services PBL can offer the plant science community, and helping to reinforce some of the links that we have recently set up with academic institutions.

PBL was also pleased to sponsor a conference session entitled "Ion Transport in Plant Development".

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