Enhancement of Field Performance in Woody Perennials via Drought Resistant Genes and Nitrogen Use Efficiency

Invention Summary:

Nitrogen is one of the leading factors of limited vegetation production. Improving nitrogen metabolism via engineered nitrogen efficiency (NUE) can contribute to the superior growth and result in increased energy biomass production in woody perennials.  Researchers at Rutgers University have developed methods for producing woody perennials with enhanced performance including drought resistance, and increased height and volume growth.

Introducing glutamine synthetase (GS), a pine gene for ammonium assimilation, can enhance field performance by increasing height and volume growth rates, leaf area, and protein and chlorophyll content compared to non-transgenic controls. Additionally, three poplar genes associated with drought tolerance have been identified and used for marker assisted selection. Enhanced expression of the three genes can serve as a method for selection of drought resistant genotypes.

Market Applications:

  • Fast-rotation forestry
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Energy biomass production


  • Enhanced growth
  • Drought resistance
  • Enhanced wood properties
  • Reduced nitrogen fertilizer treatments

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patents issued and patent pending. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration.

Rutgers ID: 2012-133
Plants, Berries, Fruit
Deborah Perez
Senior Licensing Manager
Edward Kirby
Juan Molina-Rueda