SAINT PAUL, MINNESTOA - Cellectis plant sciences, the plant genome engineering specialist and subsidiary of Cellectis (Alternext: ALCLS), announced today that it has signed a technology licensing agreement with Japan Tobacco Inc., a global supplier of tobacco, pharmaceuticals and food products, for access to its Agrobacterium transformation technology known as PureIntro(R). The agreement provides Cellectis plant sciences with the ability to utilize Japan Tobacco's technology for the precise modification of the corn and rice genomes.
Cellectis is a leader in meganuclease-based genome engineering. Its technology has many applications in plants, allowing for the insertion, deletion or modification of gene sequences to create plants expressing new traits with added value (for example: drought resistance, enhanced nutritional qualities, disease resistance). A subsidiary, Cellectis plant sciences, was established earlier this year in Saint Paul (Minnesota, USA), to enable the technology's full potential in plants.
The Agrobacterium transformation technology from Japan Tobacco allows efficient delivery of DNA to plant cells. This approach, which is already widely used in plants, will allow Cellectis plant sciences to modify the corn and rice genomes using custom meganucleases.
"At Cellectis plant sciences, we are focused on meeting the challenges of the growing global demand for food by improving staple crops such as rice and corn," said Daniel Voytas, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Cellectis plant sciences. "The PureIntro(R) technology is a proven method that will advance this important research."