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DNAP REPORTS GENETICALLY ENGINEERED TOMATOES EFFECTIVELY RESISTED COMMON FUNGAL DISEASE

            DNAP REPORTS GENETICALLY ENGINEERED TOMATOES
             EFFECTIVELY RESISTED COMMON FUNGAL DISEASE
    CINNAMINSON, N.J., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- DNA Plant Technology Corporation (NASDAQ: DNAP) announced today that field trials of tomato plants genetically engineered to express higher levels of a naturally occurring fungi-degrading enzyme showed significantly enhanced ability to resist the deleterious fungi known as Botrytis cinerea.
    DNAP scientists introduced into tomatoes a gene encoding the enzyme chitinase, an enzyme which degrades the cell walls of fungi.  Chitinase is normally present in plants but usually not at levels sufficient to provide resistance to most fungal attacks.  What the scientists have done in effect is to give the plants an enhanced immune system.
    "The test data indicates a significant opportunity for extending the shelf life of fresh market produce by increasing resistance to fungi which cause post-harvest rot without the use of fungicides," said Dr. John Bedbrook.  "These tomato field trials support both earlier findings by the company on tobacco plants and recently reported results in the journal Science on canola.
    "By introducing chitinase into plants, we are in a position to provide a biological control solution to an important agronomic problem. We are continuing to conduct field trials with other plants of commercial importance with both elevated levels of chitinase and combinations of other enzymes to expand the range of protection from other pathogens.  A fresh market tomato with both superior taste and longer shelf life is a target in DNAP's branded produce strategy."
    DNAP's chitinase fungal disease crop protection strategy is protected by two U.S. patents.
    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-               1/22/92
    /CONTACT:  John Bedbrook of DNA Plant Technology, 510-547-2395, or Fredric Spar of Kekst and Company, 212-593-2655, for DNA Plant Technology/
    (DNAP) CO:  DNA Plant Technology Corp. ST:  New Jersey IN:  MTC SU: CK -- NY037 -- 2249 01/22/92 11:35 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 22, 1992
Words:351
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