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2014 News

November 2014

PBL supports UK’s agritech innovators in new business competition

Agri-Tech East has launched the UK’s first nationwide business plan competition focussed on agriculture and horticulture.  Entrepreneurs and innovators from across the UK are encouraged to submit business plans describing an innovative new technology, product or service that will help improve the efficiency, productivity or sustainability of agriculture and horticulture.  PBL is delighted to be one of several organisations offering awards business support to the winners.  More details of the GROW competition can be found here

For more information about AgriTech East contact Dr Belinda Clarke.  Twitter: @AgriTechEast.

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September 2014

rGRF3: Increased Growth and Drought Tolerance in Plants - new publication in The Plant Journal

Javier Palatnik and colleagues have published their most recent work on rGRF3 technology.  The paper which is published in The Plant Journal  is entitled “Post-transcriptional control of GRF transcription factors by microRNA miR396 and GIF co-activator affects leaf size and longevity”.  PBL is managing the commercial development of this important innovation.

For more information please go the rGRF3 page, or for commercial opportunities, please contact Dr Jan Chojecki.

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August 2014

Mildew resistant wheat achieved by genome editing of Mlo homoeoalleles

Caixia Gao and her team at the State Key Laboratory of Plant Cell and Chromosome Engineering at the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology in Beijing, have used genome editing to simultaneously inactivate the three pairs of Mlo alleles in hexaploid wheat, creating a new wheat line which is resistant to powdery mildew.  This major achievement was published in Nature Biotechnology on 20 July. 

"Simultaneous editing of three homoeoalleles in hexaploid bread wheat confers heritable resistance to powdery mildew" Wang et al, Nature Biotechnology (2014) doi:10.1038/nbt.2969.

See also the MIT Technology Review

Patent applications are pending and commercial licences are available from PBL.  For more information please contact Dr Jan Chojecki.


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July 2014

Minister opens landmark new Centrum building at Norwich Research Park

Minister for Life Sciences George Freeman has opened a landmark new building in Norwich that will enable businesses to interact with the best scientific and research minds in areas such as food, health, energy and the environment. The new £11.5M Centrum building will be the heart of innovation and enterprise at the Norwich Research Park, a leading hub of lifescience innovation that is undergoing expansion to bring jobs and major investment to the region. 

During the visit, the Minister heard of plans for a £5M molecular farming facility. It will establish Norwich as a leading international centre for research and development in the use of plants to produce pharmaceuticals and other high value compounds. The Molecular Farming facility is being developed from inventions made at the John Innes Centre by Prof George Lomonossoff and Dr Frank Sainsbury, BBSRC Innovators of the Year in 2012. The facility will make the technology accessible to all, including commercial companies in the pharmaceutical and industrial biotechnology sectors, as well as academics from outside the Park. 

The Molecular Farming facility is a partnership between BBSRC, Norwich Research Park LLP, the John Innes Centre (JIC) and Plant Bioscience Limited (PBL). The Molecular Farming Technology is a JIC innovation that enables proteins to be produced much more rapidly and at higher levels in plants than ever before. This is revolutionising the use of plants as bioreactors and will help make plant-produced proteins a commercial reality. The technology has been patented by PBL, and commercial licences are available.

For more information about the Molecular Farming facility, please contact Dr Martin Stocks

Please click here to read article in full.

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July 2014

PBL Awarded Two Further US Patents on Short RNAi Molecules: US 8,759,102 and US 8,779,236

Plant Bioscience Limited (PBL) is pleased to announce that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued US Patent No. 8,759,102 and US Patent No. 8,779,236 with fundamental claims directed to RNAi in cells and organisms to effect gene silencing. 

Please click here to read article in full, and here for a link to the Short RNA section on our website. 

For licensing enquiries, please contact Dr Lars von Borcke. All other enquiries to info@pbltechnology.com.

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May 2014

New Food & Health Research Centre at the Norwich Research Park

A world-leading new centre for food and health research is planned for the Norwich Research Park.

Funding partners include the Institute of Food Research (IFR), the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), the University of East Anglia (UEA), and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). Researchers from IFR, UEA and NNUH will be brought together in the proposed new building, alongside partners from the John Innes Centre and The Genome Analysis Centre to uniquely integrate multidisciplinary bioscience and clinical expertise. 

Please click here for more information.


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May 2014

PBL / John Innes Centre Joint Venture Acquired

Norwich company IDna Genetics, the PBL / JIC joint venture which provides DNA services to seed companies, agricultural businesses and the genetics research community, has been sold to a leading local genetics entrepreneur.

Please click here to read the full press release.  For more information, please contact Dr Jan Chojecki.

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March 2014

Bread for Coeliacs? New publication in PloS One

Francisco Barro and colleagues have published their most recent work on wheats from which the proteins causing Coeliac Disease and related gluten pathologies have been removed.  The paper which is published in PloS One is entitled “Reduced-Gliadin Wheat Bread: An Alternative to the Gluten-Free Diet for Consumers Suffering Gluten-Related Pathologies”.  PBL is managing the commercial development of this important innovation.

For more information on commercial opportunities contact Dr Jan Chojecki.

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January 2014

Increasing availability of the "Green Wonder" - Beneforté Broccoli

Beneforté is now available in the UK in Tesco as well as Marks & Spencer and Asda. Please click here for the "Where to Buy" section on the Beneforté Super Broccoli website, which also has information about how Beneforté was developed and recipe ideas from leading chefs. 

Also, Beneforté was featured in the January issue of M&S Magazine. Please click here for the "Green Wonder" article. 

For more information, please contact Dr Jan Chojecki.


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January 2014

UK Plant Sciences Federation releases report on UK Plant Science: 28 January 2014

The UK Plants Science Federation has published a new report, UK Plant Science: Current status and future challenges, which is available to download from the Society of Biology website. 

The report calls for enhanced investment in plant science to help meet global challenges such as food security, as well as improvements in education and training in plant and crop science. It also highlights the need to reduce burdensome regulatory barriers, and for evidence-based and transparent processes in the adoption of new technologies. 

PBL is a Supporting Organisational Member of the Society of Biology and a member of the UK Plant Sciences Federation

PBL is pleased to sponsor UK PlantSci 2014, the annual meeting being held at the University of York 31 March - 1 April 2014.

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January 2014

Wheat for Coeliacs profiled at Growing Voices launch event - Brussels, 22 January 2014

A new initiative, Growing Voices, launched on 22 January, aims to put forward the facts about GM crops. The launch was marked with a conference hosted in Brussels by EuropaBio. Five GM crop examples were showcased, all representing important advances for healthy food. These included the story of Golden Rice (www.goldenrice.org and www.allowgoldenricenow.org), and also the new wheats developed by Dr Francisco Barro at the CSIC Institute of Sustainable Agriculture, Cordoba, Spain, in which the gluten proteins responsible for Coeliac Disease have been suppressed. Please click here for Dr Barro's presentation on gluten-free Wheat.

The Wheat with Reduced Gliadins technology (10.512) is managed by PBL. For more information, please contact Dr Jan Chojecki.

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January 2014

New discovery could stimulate plant growth and increase crop yields

Scientists led by experts at Durham University have discovered a natural mechanism in plants that could stimulate their growth even under stress and potentially lead to better crop yields. 

This technology is available for licensing from PBL. 

Please click here for the news release. For more information, please contact Dr Jan Chojecki.

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