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CALGENE: CANADIAN FIELD TESTS OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED PLANT OILS ANNOUNCED; SCOTLAND TRIALS ALSO IN PROGRESS

 DAVIS, Calif., May 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Calgene Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: CGNE) today announced field tests of genetically engineered canola at six locations in Canada. The trials are being conducted by authorization from Agriculture Canada. The tests are the first ever conducted outside of the U.S. to evaluate field performance of plants genetically engineered to produce modified oils. The Calgene trials contain plants engineered to produce a new source of laurate (C12), a key raw material for the soap, detergent and other industries; and plants genetically engineered to produce a novel oil with dramatically increased levels of stearic acid (C18:0), making it suitable for a variety of different food uses. Six to eight million acres of canola are grown each year in Canada.
 Trials containing the high lauric and high stearic plants are also being conducted at a single location in Scotland. These field trials were planted under a joint permit issued by the United Kingdom Department of Environment and the Health and Safety Executive. Five to six million acres of canola and rapeseed are grown in western Europe each year.
 "These trials represent the first stage of the international commercialization of our genetically engineered oils products," said Andrew Baum, President of Calgene's Oils Division. "The high lauric and high stearic oils are the first in a portfolio of genetically engineered proprietary oils products we plan to commercialize between 1995 and the end of the decade, both in the U.S. and internationally." The company has received eight permits to grow its modified rapeseed in the U.S. since the spring of 1991 and is currently conducting extensive trials in the northern U.S.
 "Our leadership position in the commercialization of genetically engineered plant oils is complemented by our portfolio of patents and patent applications," said Baum. In February 1993, Calgene announced that it had been granted a U.S. patent for Brassica plant transformation using Agrobacterium and a selectable marker. Brassica is the genus name for canola plants and the patented transformation system is widely considered to be the most efficient method for transforming Brassica plants. A similar patent application is in advanced stages of consideration in Europe. A Calgene patent application covering plant thioesterase genes for producing medium chain fatty acids (C6-C14) published in Europe in October 1991. Calgene also has the first filed patents in Europe on plant desaturase, synthase and reductase genes and has U.S. patent applications on these pending.
 The high stearic plants being tested produce an oil which will have value in margarine, confectionery markets and other food markets. Using Calgene's delta nine desaturase gene Calgene's scientists produced high stearic oil in March 1991. This work was described in the April 1992 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This was the world's first modified plant oil produced through genetic engineering. These plants are now in their fourth season of field trials.
 The high lauric plants being tested produce an oil used in both industrial and edible markets. Lauric acid (C12) is widely used in the manufacture of detergents, soaps, shampoos, oleochemicals, cosmetics and food products. It is currently obtained from coconut and palm kernel oils which are imported into North America and Europe from Southeast Asia. Over 700 million pounds of these oils are imported into the U.S. annually. The genetically engineered plants are the first temperate zone commercial crop plants to produce lauric acid. Commercial production of canola varieties engineered to produce laurate in North America and Europe may offer significant supply advantages to U.S. and European users. This will become increasingly important as laurate consumption outstrips tropical countries' abilities to meet that demand. Industry observers have predicted this will occur later this decade as soap and detergent consumption increases in Eastern Europe, China and elsewhere and as the productivity of older plantations declines.
 The international field trialing of high laurate rapeseed plants is the latest development in the company's high lauric rapeseed product development program. Over the past three years. Calgene has announced the discovery of the laurate thioesterase enzyme (July 1990), the cloning of the corresponding gene (May 1991), the production of laurate in plants (January 1992) and the first field testing of laurate producing plants (July 1992).
 This announcement is the latest in a series of advances in the development of Calgene's vertically integrated genetically engineered oils business. In July 1992, Calgene announced the acquisition of Hodag Chemical Corp., a specialty oleochemical manufacturer located in the Chicago area. In September 1992, Calgene announced an agreement to become the exclusive U.S. supplier of vegetable oil based Environmental Awareness Lubricants for Mobil Oil Corp. In October 1992, the company announced a U.S. specialty canola processing agreement with Stevens Industries, a department of Cargill Inc. In March of this year an industrial rapeseed oil marketing agreement with CanAmera Foods was announced.
 Calgene is an agribusiness biotechnology company that is developing improved plant varieties and plant products for the fresh tomato, cotton seed and specialty industrial and edible oils businesses.
 -0- 5/19/93
 /CONTACT: Eric Rey or Carolyn Hayworth of Calgene, 916-753-6313/
 (CGNE)


CO: Calgene Inc. ST: California IN: AGR MTC SU:

SG-GT -- SF001 -- 0184 05/19/93 10:02 EDT
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Date:May 19, 1993
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