Improved Pod Shattering and Controlled Seed Release Properties

Tech ID: 19371 / UC Case 1999-100-0


In many agricultural seed products—such as oilseed crops, grains, and legumes, as well as seed for planting—the premature release of seeds prior to harvest results in serious losses. Prior to this invention, visual examination of the crops and other agricultural techniques, such as determination of moisture content, have been the primary means to indicate timing of the seed harvest. This invention uses antisense genetic manipulation to achieve rational control of the natural regulatory mechanism of seed release.

Technology Description

A scientist at UC San Diego has discovered that blocking expression of certain floral organ genes prevents the normal senescence of replum cells required for pod valve release and seed dispersal. Plants bearing this transgene construct do not release their otherwise normal, mature seeds without external applied mechanical effort. Thus, complete control of shattering in the field is achieved. Since premature seed dispersal can lead to serious losses of yield, it would be beneficial for producers of agricultural seed crops to gain control of the process using this technology.


Faster, more efficient seed harvesting will result from controlling seed-pod shattering. The technology has advantage both for direct seed products such as oilseeds, and for seeds to be used for propagation.

State Of Development

Studies have focused primarily on recently characterized Arabidopsis genes that are strongly expressed in the valve/replum boundary and INDY1, a gene that is involved in fruiting body size. Mutant alleles of these genes have recently been characterized and newly created transgenic plants show a complete lack of replum structures, thus assuring that the valves can not come apart and disperse seeds.

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 8,993,843 03/31/2015 1999-100
United States Of America Issued Patent 7,897,848 03/01/2011 1999-100
United States Of America Issued Patent 7,135,621 11/14/2006 1999-100
United States Of America Issued Patent 6,998,517 02/14/2006 1999-100


Learn About UC TechAlerts - Save Searches and receive new technology matches


  • Yanofsky, Martin F.

Other Information

Categorized As