KeyGene gets US patent for HT screening
The Dutch genomics company, KeyGene (Wageningen), has been awarded a US patent (8,614,073) for high-throughput screening of mutagenised plant populations. The patent protects methods for detecting induced and natural genetic variation in large plant populations that form the cornerstone of KeyGene's KeyPoint MB (mutation breeding) programmes. KeyPoint MB delivers genetic variation in important crop traits such as yield, biotic and abiotic stress resistances, and plant reproduction, the company says. The technology has enabled KeyGene to produce pre-breeding materials for canola, maize, soybeans, wheat and a number of vegetable crops within "timeframes of months" and in an "unrivalled cost-effective" way. Application of KeyPoint MB does not fall under GMO legislation, thereby broadening the application space for genetic improvement of a wide variety of crops. The US patent follows other patents in Australia, Europe, Japan and China (Agrow No 638, p 30).