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The Expression of the Sweet Protein Brazzein in Maize

Award Information

Department of Agriculture
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2000 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Applied Biotechnology Institute
5819 Stallion Ridge College Station, TX 77845
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2000
Title: The Expression of the Sweet Protein Brazzein in Maize
Agency: USDA
Contract: 99-33610-7450
Award Amount: $250,000.00


Brazzein is a sweet plant protein recently discovered at the University of Wisconsin. It is the subject of four issued U.S. patents. The protein is 500 to 2000 times sweeter than sucrose and has the functional characteristics, such as taste and stability, required to be a leading commercial sweetener. Expression of the Brazzein gene in maize should yield the equivalent ¿ ton of sugar per ton of maize, providing the basis for a range of economical high and low intensity sweeteners with benefits to agriculture, the food industry and the consumer. ProdiGene has the technical capability to develop commercial maize varieties for the production of the Brazzein sweetener. Commercial success requires the achievement of relatively high levels of Brazzein expression in maize. Research conducted during Phase I demonstrated the feasibility of maize for Brazzein production, resulting in levels of Brazzein in excess of 0.8% of total soluble protein. Phase II research will seek to enhance these levels using a variety of promoters, targeting signals and gene modifications. In addition, process technology will be developed and evaluated to mill, extract and purify Brazzein from maize, and purified Brazzein will be used in taste tests to determine the most suitable formulations for commercial applications.

Principal Investigator:

John A. Howard

Business Contact:

John Howard
Small Business Information at Submission:

ProdiGene, Inc.
101 Gateway Blvd., Suite 100 College Station, TX 77845

EIN/Tax ID: 742764093
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No