Enhancement of Field Performance in Woody Perennials Resulting from Engineered Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE)


Invention Summary:

Rutgers scientists have introduced a pine gene for ammonium assimilation (glutamine synthetase [GS]) into poplar resulting in superior field performance including increased height and volume growth compared with non-transgenic controls. The GS transgenics can contribute significantly to strategies for increasing energy biomass production in woody perennials. Our approach to engineering NUE can contribute significantly to strategies for increasing energy biomass production in woody perennials.

Market Applications:

We believe this technology is applicable not only to increasingly important fast-rotation poplar forestry, but also to other hardwood and perennial species important to bioenergy, and general horticulture. Other potential markets include enhanced biomass-to-bioenergy and carbon sequestration (capture of greenhouse gases) as related to strategies to combat climate change.

Advantages:

This technology for engineering NUE using a pine GS gene in woody perenni- als is unique. Advantages include enhanced growth, drought resistance, enhanced wood properties, and resistance to phosphoinothricin herbicides. The tech- nology reduces the need for supplemental nitrogen fertilizer treatments during early estab-lishment of plantation forests.*


*Man, H, R Boriel, R El-Khatib, and EG Kirby. Characterization of transgenic poplar with ectopic expression of pine cytosolic glutamine synthetase under conditions of varying nitrogen availability. New Phytologist 167: 31–39 (2005)


Intellectual Property & Development Status:

US patent 6,911,576 B1 issued June 2005.

Rutgers ID: 1998-0046
Category(s):
Agriculture
Plants, Berries, Fruit
Contact:
Deborah Perez
Senior Licensing Manager
848-932-4467
deborah.perez@rutgers.edu
Inventors:
Edward Kirby
Fernando Gallardo Alba
Francisco Canovas Ramos
Keywords:
fast-rotation poplar forestry
general horticulture