Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Function of plant cell cycle genes

The ECCO project has helped CropDesign, the SME partner in this project, in building a highly competitive position in this field of research. Cell cycle technologies are important assets for a company that targets yield enhancement and yield stability in crop plants as major commercial objectives. During the project, 174 putative cell cycle genes have been identified and assembled in a database. For 77 of these, a loss-of-function mutant screen has been performed. 25 mutants were identified and 22 cell cycle genes were inactivated through an RNAi approach. Phenotypic analysis of those mutant lines has been conducted and only subtitle phenotypes could be observed. Mutant lines have been sent to the ECCO partners for a deeper analysis.

Over-expression of cell cycle gene was done for 80 different genes. Phenotypic analysis indicated strong negative phenotypes and also more positive effects of the constructs tested. Again, several lines have been sent to different ECCO partners for deeper analysis. For example a thorough analysis has been done concerning the genes CCS52 in arabidopsis in collaboration with Kondorosi's team. Altogether, this has led to a much better understanding of the cellular functions of specific cell cycle components. In addition, 4 patent applications were filed that were based on results from the ECCO consortium.

Currently, these patent applications are being pursued internationally and applications of these cell cycle technologies are being pursued in different important crops.

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