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Transposable Element-Based, Site-Specific Recombination System for Plants

Award Information

Department of Agriculture
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2002 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Phytodyne, Inc.
2711 South Loop Drive Ames, IA 50010
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2002
Title: Transposable Element-Based, Site-Specific Recombination System for Plants
Agency: USDA
Contract: 2002-33610-11784
Award Amount: $79,750.00


Site-specific recombination (SSR) is a powerful tool for studying gene function, and it offers great promise for harnessing the biosynthetic capacity of plants to produce compounds of commercial value. Two limitations to the use of SSR in plants are 1) the low frequency by which it occurs and 2) the difficulty in delivering enough DNA to produce a desired recombination event. Phytodyne Inc. proposes to overcome these limitations through the use of transposable elements. Excision of DNA transposons increases SSR more than 1000-fold, thereby overcoming the inherently low frequencies of homologous recombination in plants. cDNA generated by retrotransposons - transposable elements that replicate by reverse transcription-is highly recombinogenic. Retrotransposons can be modified to carry any sequence of interest and to synthesize cDNA at high levels. Every plant cell, therefore, can be converted into a 'cDNA factory' to overcome limitations of DNA delivery. This proposal seeks to use retrotransposon cDNA to correct defective marker genes by SSR. Among the marker genes tested will be those from which DNA transposons are actively excising to increase recombination frequencies. Completion of these experiments will provide the foundation for a transposon-based, site-specific recombination system for altering gene sequences from a variety of important crop species.

Principal Investigator:

David A. Wright

Business Contact:

Jonathan J. Leafstedt
Chief Operating Officer and Vice Preside
Small Business Information at Submission:

Phytodyne, Inc.
2901 S. Loop Dr. Bldg 3 #3515 Ames, IA 50010

EIN/Tax ID: 421498056
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No