The Two Blades Foundation has completed a non-exclusive license agreement with the Monsanto Company for access to the TAL Code technology for genome engineering in plants.

The Transcription Activator Like (TAL) effector Code technology, enables a number of highly useful tools to target specific loci in a genome and modulate the expression of genes. The foundation is positive the application of these tools in plants will accelerate improvements in crop growth and development. The Two Blades Foundation holds exclusive rights for commercial uses of the technology in plants.

“Having Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company, put the TAL Code technology to use in their programs will further ensure its wide use and development,” said  Two Blades Chief Operating Officer Diana Horvath.

Two Blades will gain access to Monsanto’s improvements to the technology for use in Two Blades’ humanitarian efforts in support of subsistence farming, according to the agreement as explained by the foundation. The Two Blades Foundation (http://www.2blades.org/) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation dedicated to developing durable disease resistance in agricultural crops, per the organization’s mission statement.

The opinion is that the license agreement will also aid Monsanto’s mission to develop high quality products for sustainable agriculture through science-based solutions. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

TAL was discovered by Ulla Bonas, Jens Boch, Thomas Lahaye and Sebastian Schornack at Martin Luther University in Halle, Germany, and is based on novel sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins that can be designed quickly and easily to recognize virtually any sequence of interest, it was explained by the Two Blades Foundation. TAL was named Method of the Year in 2011 by the journal Nature Methods.