STTR Phase I: Constitutive Promoters for Crop Improvement

Period of Performance: 01/01/2008 - 12/31/2008


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Grassroots Biotechnology, Inc.
Durham, NC 27701
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Duke University
2200 W. Main St, Suite 710
Durham, NC 27705
Institution POC


This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I develops better gene promoters in order to allow the creation of improved genetically modified crops for food and biofuels. Gene promoters are a critical element of all transgenic crops, precisely controlling when and where within the plant a transgene is expressed. This project utilizes the proprietary root analysis system, the RootArray platform, to identify and characterize these enhanced promoters. The RootArray provides an unprecedented ability to monitor gene expression within developing plant roots. The broader impacts of this research are the development of better genetically modified crop varieties. The next generation of genetically modified food crops will more easily withstand environmental stresses, like drought and pests, while producing higher yields and more nutritional value. These crops will play an important role in guaranteeing food security. Moreover, genetically modified crops hold tremendous promise to produce better biofuel crops to help meet the nation's growing demand for energy. Genetically modified plants have the potential to play a key role in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and cutting greenhouse emissions. Innovations in plant biotechnology - including the development of enhanced gene promoters - will help bring these enormous benefits to society.