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CALGENE ANNOUNCES BREAKTHROUGH IN GENETICALLY ENGINEERED CANOLA OIL

 CALGENE ANNOUNCES BREAKTHROUGH IN GENETICALLY ENGINEERED CANOLA OIL
 MIAMI, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Speaking at the Bio/Technology Winter Symposium in Miami, Dr. Toni Voelker of Calgene Inc. (NASDAQ: CGNE) today announced that Calgene has genetically engineered canola plants to produce a new source of laurate (C12), a key raw material for the soap, detergent, oleochemical, personal care and food industries.
 Currently, commercial sources of laurate are limited to coconut and palm kernel oils, which are imported into the United States primarily from Southeast Asia. The performance of detergents and other products containing laurate cannot be duplicated with other plant fatty acids from commonly available oils such as corn or soybean, nor can such crops be modified to produce laurate by conventional plant breeding. Current U.S. imports of coconut and palm kernel are approximately 1 billion pounds per year. Commercial pror U.S. industrial users.
 "The transformation of canola into a producer of laurate is a major milestone in the field of plant genetic engineering," said Dr. Voelker. "The mechanism that determines the composition of rapeseed oil is complex, and it was until now unproven whether a single genetic change would be sufficient to reprogram it for laurate production. Our results clearly demonstrate that the insertion of a single thioesterase (chain length modification) gene can dramatically alter the fatty acid chain length profile in a useful manner."
 Calgene announced the discovery of the laurate thioesterase enzyme in July 1990 and the cloning of the corresponding gene in May 1991. Laurate producing plants are currently in greenhouse production with initial field trials planned for 1992. A Calgene patent application covering all plant thioesterase genes for producing medium chain fatty acids (C6-C14) was published in Europe in October 1991.
 Calgene is currently conducting the first-ever field trials with canola genetically engineered to produce a modified oil. These trials are evaluating plants whose level of saturation has been altered to produce a high level of stearate, making the oil suitable for margarine and confectionery markets.
 Calgene is an agribusiness biotechnology company that is developing improved plant varieties and plant products for the seed, food and specialty chemical industries. The company has three operating subsidiaries: Ameri-Can Pedigreed Seed Co., Calgene Chemical and Stoneville Pedigreed Seed Co.
 -0- 1/22/92
 /CONTACT: Dan Wagster of Calgene Inc., 916-753-6313/
 (CGNE) CO: Calgene Inc. ST: California IN: SU:


RM -- SF002 -- 2106 01/22/92 09:16 EST
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Date:Jan 22, 1992
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