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Methods for increasing seed yield in plants

Technology:

In an increasingly competitive agricultural market the development of crops with increased seed yield is of great economic interest. The current invention pertains to the Brassicaceae family also called the crucifers the mustard family and the cabbage family. An economically important member of this family is the rapeseed (canola). Rapeseed is used for production of vegetable oil for human and animal consumption as well as for biodiesel. Rapeseed produces more oil per unit of land than crops like soy bean and it is therefore is the preferred source of biodiesel in Europe. World production passed 50 million metric tons in 2007 and is expected to keep growing rapidly. The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri is a method to make transgenic plants of Arabidopsis thaliana with a 33% increase in the number of seeds per plant. The plants have three carpels instead of two but are otherwise normal and the seeds are of normal size. We believe that the method can be used to increase the seed yield of commercially valuable crops of the Brassicaceae family and particularly rapeseed/canola. Applications: 1) Make rapeseed/canola with increased seed yield for oil production 2) Make other Brassicaceae with increased seed yields 3) Potential to apply the technology to other crops State of Development: Has been shown to work in A. thaliana further development needed for other species Licensing Potential: University seeks development partner with potential to commercialize Patent Status: US patent 7601886

Benefits:

1) Increased number of seeds using a novel technology 2) Seed and plant size unchanged

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