The Expression of the Sweet Protein Brazzein in Maize

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 99-33610-7450
Agency Tracking Number: 1999-00169
Amount: $250,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2000
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
101 Gateway Blvd., Suite 100, College Station, TX, 77845
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John Howard
 (409) 862-8537
Business Contact
 John Howard
Title: President
Phone: (409) 690-8537
Research Institution
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.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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