NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- Senesco Technologies Inc. announced today that its proprietary Factor 5A gene technology has a positive effect on plants grown in soil with low-nutrient levels and in the absence of commercial fertilizer.

The Senesco plants exhibited nearly three times more seed yield than unenhanced control plants under the test conditions.

Senesco tested its technology in Arabidopsis plants, a commonly used test plant which is closely related to the oilseed-bearing canola plant. Both the modified plants and the control plants were grown in low-nutrient soil with no added commercial fertilizer.

The Senesco plants grew faster and, at maturity, were substantially larger than the control plants that did not contain Senesco's enhancement technology. In keeping with this more vigorous and rapid growth, the average seed yield for Senesco plants was approximately 160 mg per plant in comparison to only approximately 55 mg per plant for the control plants.

In another trial, the Senesco plants grown in low-nutrient soil in the absence of commercial fertilizer produced about 16-percent more seed than control plants grown in the presence of optimum fertilizer.

John Thompson, Senesco's executive vice president of Research and Development, said, "These results could be of great significance for a variety of agronomic crops. Fertilizer is a sizeable input cost for crops such as corn, soy and canola. If plants can be grown in low-nutrient soil, there could be significant economic and environmental benefits with no sacrifice to yield."

Based on these results, the company is planning to repeat these experiments in agronomic crops.

Senesco takes its name from the scientific term for the aging of plant cells: senescence. The company has developed technology that regulates the onset of cell death. Delaying cell breakdown in plants extends freshness after harvesting, while increasing crop yields, plant size and resistance to environmental stress for flowers, fruits and vegetables. Senesco is headquartered in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

SOURCE: Senesco Technologies Inc. via Business Wire.