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While the patent is very valuable for soybean production, it has also opened the way for further beneficial research. Since the work on the patent, Trick and Todd have continued similar research on 20 different kinds of gene sequences in other plant and nematode species. They are taking the same method of destroying SCN and applying it to nematodes that affect plants such as wheat, tomatoes and pineapples.
Trick and Todd have been supported in their research by funding from the Kansas Soybean Commission and the United Soybean Board. They are in the process of filing for additional patents for some of their inventions.
"With this technology – it may not be the genes under the patent, and it may be other genes that we find or someone else finds – we're hoping to produce plants with durable resistance to parasitic nematodes," Trick says.
The patent is the eighth patent that K-State has received this year. It was issued earlier this year to the Kansas State University Research Foundation, or KSURF. The foundation is a nonprofit corporation responsible for managing the technology transfer activities of the university.
The research foundation is working with the National Institute for Strategic Technology Acquisition and Commercialization, known as NISTAC, to license the patent, said Marcia Molina, foundation vice president. NISTAC is involved with the expansion of technology-based, high growth enterprises and helps with the commercialization of intellectual property from K-State researchers.