Research into tree biotechnology has gotten a boost through a new agreement between Dow AgroSciences LLC and Oregon State University. The wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company will make its EXZACT™ Precision Technology available to Steve Strauss, distinguished professor of forest biotechnology in the College of Forestry.
EXZACT™ provides a versatile and comprehensive toolkit for targeted genome modification, according to the company, and has already been licensed for use in research elsewhere on algae, maize and other plants.
As part of the agreement, Strauss and his team will make modifications to essential genes for flowering and reproduction. Dow AgroSciences is providing its technology as well as access to intellectual property, to validated, high-quality compounds known as zinc-finger reagents and to scientific expertise.
“Tree biotechnology is an exciting new field for agriculture and represents an important opportunity for both traditional industries like lumber and paper and newly emerging bioenergy companies,” says Kay Kuenker, Vice President for New Business at Dow AgroSciences.
The Society of American Foresters honored Steve Strauss in 2011 with the Barrington-Moore Memorial Award.