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DNAP RECEIVES U.S. PATENT FOR MARKER GENE

 DNAP RECEIVES U.S. PATENT FOR MARKER GENE
 CINNAMINSON, N.J., Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- DNA Plant Technology


Corporation (NASDAQ: DNAP) announced it has received a U.S. patent (No. 5,073,675) for methods for introducing an important marker gene into plants. The specg selectable marker gene, which introduces spectinomycen resistance in plants, when linked with another gene for a desirable trait being introduced into plant cells provides a superior means for selecting out cells which have taken up the new genetic material.
 Use of a selectable marker is essential to the genetic transformation of plants. When new genes are introduced into a mass of plant cells growing in a culture medium, it is necessary to be able to select out the very small fraction of cells that successfully take up the new genetic material. This can be accomplished by linking the gene for a desirable characteristic with one conveying resistance to specific chemical compounds. The researcher can then subject the mass of cells to a specific chemical compound and select out those cells resistant to it, which will also be the ones containing the new desirable characteristic.
 Use of antibiotic markers is well established in genetic engineering research, but spectinomycen offers significant advantages over alternatives in that although it clearly marks the non-resistant cells, it is not immediately lethal to them. This provides a superior environment for screening out the desired cells.
 "The specg selectable marker gene provides DNAP with a proprietary method to engineer recalcitrant varieties and offers a significant opportunity for revenue through licensing of the gene," said Dr. John Bedbrook, executive vice president and director of service at DNAP. "To date, DNAP has introduced the specg selectable marker gene into tomatoes, peppers, sugar snap peas, tobacco, petunias, chrysanthemums and carnations."
 DNAP is a leading agricultural biotechnology company, applying a spectrum of technologies to develop and commercialize plant-based products, agricultural and environmental diagnostics, and ice modification products and processes for industrial and consumer markets. The company has four operating joint ventures -- FreshWorld, InterMountain Canola Company, Agri-Diagnostics Associates, and Florigene, B.V.
 -0- 1/13/92
 /CONTACT: Dr. John Bedbrook of DNA Plant Technology, 415-547-2395, or Fredric Spar of Kekst and Company, 212-593-2655, for DNA Plant Technology/
 (DNAP) CO: DNA Plant Technology Corporation ST: New Jersey IN: SU: SB -- NY071 -- 9170 01/13/92 15:23 EST
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Date:Jan 13, 1992
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