Chantilly, VA, United States
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Patent
Edenspacec Inc | Date: 2010-04-30

The present invention is directed, among other things, to using secondary metabolites in the mevalonate pathway (such as, for example, HMG) and/or structurally related compounds to mediate biological activities (e.g., for therapeutic applications) and/or as diagnostic agents. In some embodiments, the biological activities comprise one or more pleiotropic effects of statins (such as, for example, angiogenesis, promoting vascular function, anti-inflammatory action, immunomodulation, etc.). Also provided are methods of screening for mevalonate pathway secondary metabolites, methods of producing HMG, and methods of diagnosing comprising measuring amount of mevalonate pathway secondary metabolites.


Patent
Edenspacec Inc | Date: 2010-06-01

Nucleic acids, vectors, and expression vectors comprising novel plant gene regulatory elements from poplar that can drive heterologous gene expression in plants. Novel transgenic plants expressing heterologous genes under the control of novel gene regulatory elements.


Patent
Edenspacec Inc | Date: 2010-02-17

The present invention is directed to improved systems and methods for reducing costs and increasing yields of cellulosic ethanol. In particular, the present invention provides plants genetically transformed for increased biomass, expression of lignocellulolytic enzyme polypeptides, and/or simplification of harvesting and downstream processing. Also provided are methods for processing biomass from these transgenic plants that involve less severe and/or less expensive pre-treatment protocols that are typically employed. Such methods allow, among other things, reduced costs associated with externally applied lignocellulolytic enzyme polypeptides.


Grant
Agency: Department of Agriculture | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2016

This project is focused on the development and demonstration of technology to reduce nitrogen fertilizer usage while maintaining yields and increasing resistance to environmental stress. The technology is suitable for areas of intensive agricultural crop production as well as the production of biomass crops on marginal lands for sustainable biofuel and bioenergy production. The development and demonstration of nitrogen fixing endophytic bacteria suited for corn and important agricultural crops provides a means to improve yields while decreasing environmental impacts of soil applied nitrogen fertilizers such as generation of greenhouse gases and negative impacts to surface waters.The interior of many plant species provides habitat for a wide range of bacteria and fungi that benefit the plant host by increasing nutrient acquisition and stress tolerance. The term "endophyte" was coined to describe these internal microbes that spend a significant part of their life cycle within plants and do not cause disease. A subset of these endophytic microorganisms fixes atmospheric nitrogen into the usable forms of ammonia and nitrate within the plant. Such microbes are termed diazotrophs, and have been found in major food crops including rice, maize, sugar cane, and sweet potato. Although diazotrophic endophytes can promote growth by producing phytohormones, it has been demonstrated that significant amounts of fixed nitrogen can be provided by them as well to improve plant growth.Successful completion of this project will demonstrate specific benefits of nitrogen fixing endophytes in larger scale greenhouse and small plot field studies and form the basis for large scale field demonstrations and production in Phase II including manufacture, delivery and application methods compatible with current agriculture production techniques. The development of which will provide farmers with increased profits as nitrogen requirements are decreased. Additional benefits resulting from the overall decreased dependence and usage of nitrogen fertilizer sources will occur in improved water quality and decreased greenhouse gas production.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2010

This SBIR Phase I project will develop transgenic fungal endophyte to produce and sequester degradative enzymes during plant growth and for post harvest use of these enzymes to reduce recalcitrance and facilitate biomass conversion. Efficient production of biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass is limited by several factors including (1) producing large amounts of low-cost biomass sustainably (2) overcoming the natural recalcitrance of lignocellulose, and (3) reducing the high cost of enzymes used in biorefineries to convert cellulose and hemicellulose to their component sugars. This project will help overcome these limitations by developing endophytes, beneficial fungi that live naturally inside plants, as key components of an integrated system for producing low-cost cellulosic biofuels. Endophytes are increasingly recognized as vital contributors to plant yield, particularly for monocots. Endophytes that enhance plant yield will be engineered to produce and safely sequester degradative enzymes as the plant grows.

The broader/commercial impact of the project will be to develop and sell energy-crop seeds and biomass, and to license the novel endophyte. The technology will have a significant impact on fermentation chemicals and fuel industries and their competitiveness.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: National Institutes of Health | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2015

DESCRIPTION provided by applicant Agricultural application of arsenate based pesticides from the s through s left significant acreage of arsenic residues particularly on land used for apple potato and blueberry farming Arsenate was applied at rates up to kg ha in most fruit orchards until insecticides such as DDT were introduced the late s resulting in contamination over large areas These wide area and smaller localized areas of arsenic contaminated soils are difficult and expensive to remediate via conventional means An alternative approach is phytoremediation using living plants to extract and concentrate the element from contaminated soils and waters The arsenic accumulating Edenfern tm plants have been used commercially to decrease arsenic concentrations at a number of sites Because the ferns are native to semi tropical environments their use in northern or temperate climates is restricted to annual plantings that increase cost Endophytic bacteria and fungi that colonize specific plants have been shown to confer tolerance to adverse conditions improve plant nutrient utilization increase disease resistance and facilitate degradation of soil and water contaminants such as TCE and PAHs An understanding of the many benefits conferred by endophytic organisms is still developing and recently the Doty laboratory isolated endophytes from plants growing on arsenic contaminated soils within the Tacoma Smelter Plume in Washington State These bacterial endophytes have shown an unusual tolerance to arsenic and may provide improved arsenic accumulation in phytoremediation applications This project seeks to address wide area arsenic contamination through the use of conventional non transgenic endophytes that improve arsenic tolerance and uptake in woody biomass crops such as willow for phytoremediation The use of novel endophytes isolated from native plants found on arsenic contaminated soils generates a technology approach that will allow a variety of crops and cropping systems to be used for phytoremediation The Phase I approach provides a strong basis for Phase II work which if successful will provide site managers with an invaluable low cost tool for removal of arsenic from contaminated soils PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE This Phase I project seeks to reduce the cost of remediating soils contaminated with arsenic by developing a plant endophyte system using willow plants with an improved ability to tolerate and accumulate arsenic from the soil The project focuses on using naturally occurring bacterial endophytes found in plants growing on arsenic contaminated sites to increase tolerance to arsenic in a crop plant suited for phytoremediation to allow cost effective treatment of wide area contamination


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2010

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Because environmental mercury poses significant challenges to global public health, reducing mercury levels in air, soil, and water is an international priority. Widespread distribution of mercury (Hg) by the atmosphere makes current methods of addressing Hg contamination, such as excavation and replacement of soil, too expensive to be practical given the typically large scale of remediation activity required. This Phase I SBIR proposal seeks to develop an innovative, low-cost method of extracting Hg from wet ecosystems using a recently-identified Hg-hyperaccumulating plant species. The accumulated mercury readily binds with reduced sulfur in the plant to form HgS, an extremely refractory (highly stable) chemical form that effectively retires the mercury from its global cycle. This process utilizes sulfur (S), a nutritionally essential trace element that is naturally accumulated by plants from soils to render the accumulated mercury biologically inactive. Because the accumulated mercury is trapped in an insoluble, non-bioavailable form, the mercury stored in the plant may then be allowed to remain on-site, thereby eliminating the need for harvest and disposal, reducing the burden on hazardous waste landfills. Following the Phase I demonstration of high plant accumulation of mercury, in planta conversion of environmental mercury to HgS, and decreased bioavailability as assessed in an insect feeding study, Phase II tasks will explore methods of increasing Hg uptake, assess speciation of sulfur from the rhizosphere through the plant, assess the mercury phytoextraction performance of the Hg- hyperaccumulator at two field demonstration sites, and conduct in situ ecological risk studies at each of these sites to confirm the lower risk to ecological receptors of plants storing its accumulated mercury as HgS. The end result of the project will be to establish the foundation for a low-cost, solar powered method of removing and stabilizing mercury over large areas of soil and large volumes of water. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: This NIH Phase I SBIR proposal seeks to retire mercury from the environment by inducing the formation of insoluble mercury sulfide (HgS) in a recently identified Hg-accumulating plant species. If successful, large areas of soil contaminated with mercury can be remediated.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 964.68K | Year: 2012

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Trichloroethylene (TCE), one of the most common groundwater pollutants, is a known hepatotoxin and carcinogen. It has been widely used by industry and the military as a solvent and degreaser. According to the Agency forToxic Substances and Disease Registry, more than eight hundred Superfund sites in the United States are contaminated with TCE. Poplar, which can accumulate and degrade TCE, is an attractive plant for phytoremediation of TCE and other organic contaminantsdue to its high growth rate, extensive root system, high rates of water uptake from the soil, and ease of genetic manipulation. While transgenic poplar for improved TCE degradation has been successfully field tested, there are significant regulatory and breeding hurdles preventing the large-scale use of this technology. Recently, researchers have determined the potential of endophytes, symbiotic bacteria and fungi that live within plant cells, to break down organic contaminants and improve the phytoremediation capability of non-transgenic plants. Unlike other microbes that have been used for phytoremediation, endophytes live within the plant and therefore are expected to persist better at the site, continuing to degrade TCE as long as their plant partner survives. Dr. Sharon Doty, partner on the Phase I research and Phase II proposal, isolated a bacterial strain from poplar growing in sites contaminated with TCE and other organic pollutants that exhibited high rates of TCE degradation. Phase I results demonstrated the ability of this bacterial endophyte to persist in the roots of poplar trees and significantly enhance the degradation of TCE compared to control poplar. In Phase II, the field testing of this TCE bacterial endophyte will be accomplished at two TCE-contaminated sites for removal of TCE from groundwater compared to control poplar. In addition, the inclusion of a bacterial endophyte recently identified as a PAH degrader will also be tested in separate poplars and in those also inoculated with the TCE endophyte to determine the efficiency of this endophyte to degrade PAHs in the presence and absence of TCE. Because poplar is also a potential biomass energy crop, the potential use of the biomass for biopower or biofuel production following remedial activities will be investigated. Upon successful completion of this SBIR project, Edenspace will partner with Geosyntec, Inc., a leading environmental engineering firm, to introduce this novel technology to the remediation industry. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a known carcinogen and significant environmental contaminant as a result of extensive use by the military and industry. Poplar trees have been used as a natural method to remove TCE from contaminated groundwater. This NIHPhase II SBIR proposal seeks to continue development of poplars containing endophytes that are known degraders of TCE. Such endophytic poplars are expected to enhance TCE removal rates, thereby reducing exposure of TCE to humans and wildlife.


Grant
Agency: Department of Agriculture | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 460.00K | Year: 2011

The U.S. population has a deficit of dietary calcium that represents a serious challenge to public health. Many consumers, however, find current methods of increasing dietary calcium to be inconvenient, costly, or unpalatable. This SBIR Phase II proposal seeks to increase calcium levels in lettuce, a specialty crop that already comprises a significant part of the average U.S. diet. Successful Phase I results included demonstration of the ability to provide up to 150 mg of calcium per serving of Bibb lettuce, a level high enough to qualify the lettuce as a "good" source of calcium under FDA guidelines and more than eight times the amount of calcium available in commercial lettuce today, using a combination of bioengineering and novel hydroponic techniques. Moreover, most of the calcium in the lettuce is present in a bioavailable form that is efficiently processed by the body. In Phase II, elite commercial lettuce varieties provided by a leading commercial seed company will be transformed, hydroponic growing protocols will be optimized, a pilot demonstration will be conducted at a commercial hydroponic lettuce grower, and product quality testing including taste testing will be conducted by a university partner. Successful completion of the project will lay the foundation for introduction of a new value-added crop that provides better nutrition for consumers and a new source of income for agricultural producers. Planned commercialization activities include marketing of the calcium-fortified lettuce at regional farmers' markets, followed by nationwide distribution through grocery chains and specialty food stores.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2011

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Trichloroethylene (TCE), one of the most common groundwater pollutants, is a known hepatotoxin and carcinogen. It has been widely used by industry and the military as a degreaser for metal parts: according to the Agencyfor Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, more than eight hundred Superfund sites in the United States are contaminated with TCE. Poplar, which can take up and degrade TCE, is an attractive plant for phytoremediation of TCE and other organic contaminantsdue to its high growth rate, extensive root system, high rates of water uptake from the soil, and ease of genetic manipulation. While transgenic poplar for improved TCE degradation has been successfully field tested, there are significant regulatory and breeding hurdles preventing the large-scale use of this technology. Recently researchers have determined the potential of endophytes, symbiotic bacteria and fungi that live within plant cells, to break down organic contaminants and improve the phytoremediation capability of non-transgenic plants. Unlike other microbes that have been used for phytoremediation, endophytes live within the plant and therefore are expected to persist better at the site, continuing to degrade TCE as long as their plant partner survives. The laboratory of Dr. Sharon Doty is one of the pioneers in studying endophytes to improve plant growth and health, having worked in this field for over a decade. Recently her laboratory has isolated endophytes from poplar growing in sites contaminated with TCE and other organic pollutants. Some of these microbes exhibit high rates of TCE degradation when grown in the lab. Her laboratory is currently developing methods to inoculate these TCE-degrading endophytes into poplar and will work with Edenspace on this SBIR project to demonstrate that the new poplar/endophyte systems have significantly better TCE phytoremediation performance than control poplar. Edenspace will also develop molecular markers to identify the specific endophytes, in order to confirm in a field test that the microbes can persist in the poplar for months. Upon successful completion of this SBIR project Edenspace will partner with Geosyntec, a leading environmental engineering firm, to introduce this novel technology to the remediation industry. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a known carcinogen and significant environmental contaminant as a result of to extensive use by the military and industry. Poplar trees have been used as a natural method to remove TCE from contaminated groundwater. In this project scientists from Edenspace and the University of Washington will utilize recently identified microbes that can act with the poplar to greatly increase TCE removal rates. Development of this improved remediation system will reduce exposure of humans and wildlife to TCE.

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