New transgenic plants for agriculture with higher biomass production and higher yields


The technology offered has been developed by researchers of the Laboratory of RNA Biology.

Researchers have developed in the lab model plants of Arabidopsis thaliana with increased levels of expression of the gene GRF (Growth Regulating Factor) controlling the development and growth of various plant organs. These plants show a marked increment in biomass accumulation due to a rise of at least 30% of the size of the leaves and the length and diameter of the stems. Additionally, these plants have a marked resistance to drought. Furthermore, the researchers have introduced modified GRF genes from soybean and rice in the same model plant with similar results.

Application domain

  • Agriculture: the technology allows a rise in crop yields by increasing the intrinsic ability of plant biomass production and alleviate the effects of adverse growing conditions such as drought.
  • Energy Industry: the technology will have a potential positive impact on production of biofuels since it would allow an increment of crops biomass yield.


  • Transgenic plants with higher levels of GRF increased biomass of leaves and stems.
  • Increment of stem biomass and growth rate.
  • The plants described also have a greater tolerance to drought and a delay in senescence.
  • These two features together can increase the yield of the crops used as feedstock for biofuel production of first and second generation.
  • It is a useful biotechnological tool that uses these GRF genes that are unique to each species.

State of development

  • System validated in Arabidopsis.
  • System validated with genes from other species (soy and rice) in Arabidopsis.
  • Transgenic plants of Brassica oleracea also have biomass increment.

State of intellectual property

The technology is in the process of protection through a Priority Patent Application P042983GB “GRF Mutants, Methods and Plants”, belonging to the National University of Rosario and CONICET.

Details of potential operating or partnership agreements

An agreement for validation of the technology was made through the company Plant Bioscience Limited (PBL), to test the technology in commercially important crops (soy, corn, sugarcane, rice and wheat).

The company PBL has the worldwide exclusive rights to commercially exploit the technology, including the right to sublicense.

For further assessment and licensing opportunities, contact:
Dr. Jan Chojecki
Tel: +44 (0)1603 456500
Fax: +44 (0)1603 456552


Dr: Javier Palatnik