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Phoenix, AZ, United States

Agency: Department of Agriculture | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2015

Soybean meal has long been a critical input for animal feed in monogastric animals (such as chickens and pigs) as it provides an ideal protein profile to promote healthy, rapid animal growth at a competitive price. More recently, aquaculture, the fastest growing commercial animal protein segment, has sought to take advantage of the protein and cost advantages of soybean meal as an affordable protein substitute to more expensive and less sustainable fish feeds. In 2013, global aquaculture feed included approximately 15 million metric tons of soybean meal, or about 525 million bushels of soybeans. With global aquaculture production poised to double in the next 20 years the need for sustainable, cost effective feed inputs will be greater than ever - and soybean-based feeds must be part of the solution. Unfortunately, soy feeds use in aquaculture remains limited due to the presence of anti-nutritional factors (ANF) including undigested oligosaccharides, lectins that damage the intestinal lining and phytate that binds to and prevents the uptake of proteins.Our ultimate goal is to generate a soybean variety (or soybean varieties) with eliminated or reduced ANFs to support increased feed conversion ratios (FCRs) and allow for greater soybean meal inclusion in feeding rations. Our project will leverage Arcadia's robust soybean TILLING library, which has enough genetic diversity to evaluate the ANF levels in plants with a range of mutations in targeted genes - thus creating the best potential to identify commercially attractive traits. More precisely, in phase 1 we will identify allelic series of nonsense and missense mutations in genes directly responsible for the synthesis of the three targeted ANFs.In phase 2, the best mutations for each of the ANF traits will be introgressed into an elite soybean variety. The effects of each mutation on the phenotype and agronomic characteristics of the new varieties will be evaluated individually and in combination to produce a "low ANF" variety with competitive agronomic performance.

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 874.13K | Year: 2011

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The conditions of diabetes and obesity are a growing public health concern affecting more of the population every year. A large segment of the population is pre-diabetic potentially progressing towards diabetes. Food choices impact all of these health problems. The overall goal of this proposal is to increase resistant starch levels in wheat, a principle part of our diet. Resistant starch has many beneficial health properties. It is the portion of starch that escapes digestion in the lower intestine and is instead fermented in the large intestine. Because of this, resistant starch does not cause a rapid rise in glucose after a meal; instead glucose is released more slowly into the bloodstream and leads to an increased feeling of satiety. Fermentation of resistant starch in the lower intestine also leads to short chain fatty acid production that helps promote colon health. We propose to develop novel wheat cultivars with very high levels of resistant starch. By increasinglevels of amylose, one of the components of starch, resistant starch levels increase. Resistant starch is also correlated with levels of total dietary fiber because it is slowly digested; so increased amylose increases fiber content as well. In preliminarywork, we developed a wheat line with moderate amylose levels due to the alteration of an enzyme in the starch biosynthetic pathway using TILLING (Targeting Induced Local Lesions in Genomes). TILLING is a novel non-GM (genetic modification) technique thatis a target-selected variation of mutation breeding. In order to develop very high amylose wheat for a product that can be commercialized, we propose to combine mutations in linked starch biosynthetic genes. The feasibility of obtaining the necessary linked mutations will be demonstrated during Phase I. This project has a high likelihood of success given the size and mutation frequency of our wheat TILLING library. The rest of the necessary mutations will be discovered during Phase II and combined through breeding to produce the very high amylose variety. We have applied for the Fast Track SBIR based on the strength of our preliminary data and the high likelihood of commercialization due to the many more foods than currently available sources of resistant starch whose use is limited. Because level of interest from the industry in this product. High resistant starch wheat can be incorporated into wheat is pervasive in our diets, this product could have a major positive impact on health. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The conditions of diabetes and obesity are a growing public health concern affecting more of the population every year. Food choices impact these health problems, and foods high in resistant starch have beneficial effects that help combat these conditions. The overall goal of this proposal is to develop novel wheat cultivars with very high levels of resistant starch that would positively impact health. )

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2013

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project aims to increase yield in wheat by using TILLING, a reverse genetics tool, to identify novel alleles of candidate wheat yield genes in tetraploid and hexaploid wheat. In crops such as wheat with more complex genome structures and less advanced genomic tools, the major genes underlying many aspects of plant architecture are yet to be identified. However, due to functional conservation, genes regulating traits in rice (and other crops) are likely to play similar roles in wheat. Once new alleles of these genes have been identified they will be subsequently evaluated for the ability to alter wheat architecture and improve yield in the greenhouse and in the field. As a non-GM technology, products from TILLING can rapidly advance to commercialization and do not face market or regulatory restrictions.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project, if successful, will be the economic impact of improved wheat yields. The U.S. is the largest wheat exporter globally, yet the competitiveness of U.S. wheat, both globally and domestically, is declining significantly. Planted acreage is down thirty percent since the 1980s, in large part due to competition from other crops with higher returns. Net returns to farmers from wheat are consistently half or less than that from corn and soy. With a conservative 5% increase in yield resulting from this project, the yearly value creation to the U.S. farmer is estimated at over $30/hectare. In addition, the value of higher yielding wheat varieties to a seed company arising from this research in the U.S. alone is more than $40 million annually. By incorporating favorable alleles of plant architecture genes into a commercial wheat breeding program, it is believed that this project will make a significant contribution to improving the competitiveness of U.S. wheat.

Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. | Date: 2012-09-18

Methods of increasing nitrogen utilization efficiency in monocot plants through genetic modification to increase the levels of alanine aminotransferase expression and plants produced there from are described. In particular, methods for increasing the biomass and yield of transgenic monocot plants grown under nitrogen limiting conditions compared to non-transgenic plants are described. In this way, monocot plants may be produced that maintain a desired yield while reducing the need for high levels of nitrogen application.

Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. | Date: 2014-07-07

A series of independent human-induced, non-transgenic mutations found in at least one non-ripening (NOR) gene of tomato; tomato plants having these mutations in at least one of their NOR genes; and a method of creating and identifying similar and/or additional mutations in the NOR gene by screening pooled and/or individual tomato plants. The tomato plants of the present invention exhibit fruit that ripen more slowly, rot more slowly, are firmer, and have a longer shelf life post-harvest as a result of non-transgenic mutations in at least one of their NOR genes.

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