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CALGENE TO RECEIVE PATENT COVERAGE ON ETHYLENE CONTROL; ACC DEAMINASE IS KEY TO ETHYLENE CONTROL IN FRESH PRODUCE

 DAVIS, Calif., July 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Calgene Inc. (NASDAQ: CGNE) today announced that it has been notified by they U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that its claims to DNA constructs for expression of ACC deaminase (ACCD) in plant cells are allowed. ACCD is an enzyme which disrupts or blocks the normal production of ethylene in plants by removing a key substrate in the ethylene biosynthetic pathway -- 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC). Control of ethylene is expected to have significant commercial value in the production, sale and distribution of fresh produce including tomatoes, berries, melons, bananas and tree fruits.
 "The ACCD gene patent claims are especially significant because the ACCD construct will be effective across most plant species and does not rely on either antisense or co-suppression technology," said Roger H. Salquist, chairman and chief executive officer of Calgene Inc. "Other demonstrated technologies for ethylene regulation are species-specific and require the use of either antisense or co-suppression technology," added Salquist. Calgene has an issued patent covering the use of antisense RNA techniques in all plant cells. While scientifically interesting, the commerical value of co-suppression technology has not been established. It has been documented in scientific literature that co-suppression technology is inherently unstable and that co-suppressed genes can regain their normal function over subsequent generations in the field.
 Calgene believes its issued patent covering the use of antisense RNA techniques in plants and its allowed patent claims for ACCD give it a strong proprietary position in the broad area of post- harvest physiology of fresh fruits and vegetables. Calgene Fresh is testing second generation fresh tomato products which include the FLAVR SAVR(TM) gene, which dramatically reduces the amount of the polygalacturonase enzyme, in combination with proprietary ethylene regulation constructs.
 Calgene is an agribusiness biotechnology company that is developing improved plant varieties and plant products for the fresh tomato, cotton seed and special industrial and edible oils markets.
 Calgene Fresh, a wholly owned subsidiary of Calgene Inc., is a fresh produce sales and distribution company. Its initial product, MacGregor's(R) tomatoes, feature fresh tomato varieties with summertime tomato flavor available on a year-round basis.
 -0- 7/29/93
 /CONTACT: Carolyn Hayworth of Calgene Inc., 916-753-5313; or Stephen Benoit of Calgene Fresh, 708-864-3333/
 (CGNE)


CO: Calgene, Inc.; Calgene Fresh ST: California IN: FOD MTC SU:

TB-LH -- SF002 -- 7475 07/29/93 11:42 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 29, 1993
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