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Genes Controlling Plant Growth
Category(s):
For Information, Contact:
Dario Valenzuela
Senior Commercialization Manager, Life Sciences
515-294-4740
licensing@iastate.edu
Web Published:
5/13/2015
ISURF #
3723
Summary:
Iowa State University researchers have identified a gene, termed HERK1, which increases plant growth in a model system when it is overexpressed. 

Development Stage:
Overexpression of the HERK1 receptor kinase has been demonstrated to increase plant growth using an Arabidopsis thaliana model system, and ISU is seeking partners interested in commercializing this technology.

Description:
A variety of internal (e.g., hormones) and external signals (e.g., light) are known to play a role in the regulation of plant growth. These regulatory pathways are complex and can intersect at a variety of levels; for example, brassinosteroids (BRs), a group of plant steroid hormones, controls cell elongation in plants in conjunction with environmental cues. As part of a research effort to probe the intricate mechanisms involved in regulating plant growth, ISU researchers have discovered that a family of receptor-like kinases, including HERCULES1, THESEUS1, and FERONIA, are regulated by BRs and are required for optimal plant growth. Studies by the ISU group have shown that this previously unknown pathway plays a role in cell elongation, with overexpression of HERK1 resulting in increasing a plant’s size by 10-15% using an Arabidopsis model, while underexpression of HERK1 and related genes resulted in plants that were approximately 50% smaller. Additional research into pathway this may result in strategies for increasing the size and yield of grain and biomass crops. 

Advantage:
• Shown experimentally to increase plant growth 10-15%
Application:
Control of plant growth.

References:
Patent Information:
*To see the full version of the patent(s), follow the link below, then click on "Images" button.
Country Serial No. Patent No. Issued Date
United States 13/773,150 9,512,440* 12/6/2016


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