Genetic Engineering of Maize for Increased Tolerance to Heat Stress

Period of Performance: 01/01/2002 - 12/31/2002


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Genetic Archit Edu Analys
2308 6th Street, E.
Brookings, SD 57006
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of South Dakota
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069
Institution POC


This Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Phase 1 Project proposes to develop transgenic maize (Zea mays L.) with increased tolerance to heat stress. It has recently discovered that a gene encoding the maize chloroplast protein synthesis elongation factor, EF-Tu, plays a role in the development of heat tolerance. EF-Tu protects other proteins from heat-induced inactivation and aggregation. The overall goal of this project is to genetically engineer maize that overproduces EF-Tu under high temperature conditions and to exploit the protective role that EF-Tu plays in heat tolerance. The key objectives of the Phase 1 research include (a) the creation of EF-Tu transgenic maize protoplasts, Arabidopsis and maize whole-plants and (b) the assessment of their heat tolerance in the laboratory. The results of the Phase 1 project will lay the groundwork for the follow-on Phase 2 and Phase 3 projects. They will include the testing the performance of EF-Tu transgenic maize in the field (Phase 2) and its commercialization (Phase 3).