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DNA PLANT TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION RECEIVES RIGHTS FOR TECHNOLOGY TO CONTROL RIPENING OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

 DNA PLANT TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION RECEIVES RIGHTS FOR
 TECHNOLOGY TO CONTROL RIPENING OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
 CINNAMINSON, N.J., March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- DNA Plant Technology Corporation (NASDAQ: DNAP) reported today that it has signed a license agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture for the use of the government's ACC synthase technology. DNAP will apply this technology for the control of ripening to produce fruits and vegetables with superior taste and texture.
 DNAP said it plans to conduct extensive field trials of tomatoes modified with the gene beginning in 1992.
 Separately, the company also announced it has attained joint ownership of key fresh-market tomato varieties that are the result of an extensive development program with Campbell Soup. Additional field trials and consumer testing of these superior tasting varieties, developed through somaclonal variation technology, will proceed this year with test market introduction targeted for 1993.
 "This strategy of applying cellular genetics to move a significantly improved fresh market tomato into the marketplace rapidly, followed by second generation improvements using molecular genetics, such as the ACC synthase technology, is consistent with DNAP's overall business strategy," said Richard Laster, DNAP's chairman and chief executive officer.
 ACC (amino cyclopropane carboxylate) synthase is an enzyme which plays an important role in the biosynthesis of ethylene, a ripening hormone. Researchers at the USDA's Albany, Calif., research facility demonstrated inhibition of ethylene production in tomatoes through manipulation of the gene that encodes ACC synthase. These genetically engineered tomatoes can be left on the vine for as many as 120 days developing sweetness and enhanced flavor without the fruit softening or changing color. When harvested and exposed to ethylene gas, the fruit then softens and develops color normally, producing a tomato with superior vine-ripened taste and texture.
 "The tomato fruit serves as a depository for sugars manufactured in and transported from leaves of the plant. The longer you can leave the fruit on the vine, the sweeter the end product will be," said John R. Bedbrook, DNAP's executive vice president and director of science. "The ACC synthase gene combined with DNAP's proprietary transwitch technology will enable us to deliver to the consumer substantially better tasting tomatoes by controlling the ripening process. This technology will allow full flavor development on the vine, without triggering the softening process," Bedbrook said.
 "The applications of this tool go well beyond the scope of our tomato program toward developing second generation products in our branded produce and floriculture business areas. We have secured exclusive rights for the use of the technology in more than 15 types of fruits and vegetables and in seven different species of ornamental flowers," Bedbrook said.
 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 the industrial and consumer markets.
 -0- 3/11/92
 /CONTACT: Richard Laster of DNAP, 914-241-4959; or Fredric Spar of Kekst and Company, 212-593-2655, for DNAP/
 (DNAP) CO: DNA Plant Technology Corporation ST: New Jersey IN: MTC SU: LIC


GK -- NY022 -- 7221 03/11/92 09:55 EST
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Date:Mar 11, 1992
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