Method for Increasing Fruiting Body Size and Controlling Seed Release in Commercially Important Plants

Tech ID: 19401 / UC Case 1997-105-0


Prior to this invention, if increased fruiting body size was desired, multiple generations of plants had to be carefully bred to produce larger fruits with success far from certain. Research at UC San Diego regarding the regulation of flowering genes has uncovered a control point in fruiting body expression. When under the control of a constitutive or regulated promoter for this gene, a transgenic plant with greatly enlarged fruit results. Many kinds of significant commercial crops may now be induced to produce far larger than normal fruiting bodies, apparently, with no loss in fruit quality.

Technology Description

A  scientist at UC San Diego has discovered a transgenic construct that increases fruiting body size in the laboratory by constitutively expressing a gene in arabidopsis thaliana that appears to be necessary and sufficient in regulating fruiting body elongation. The gene is fully expressible in other species. Additionally, for the first time, seed release (shattering) can be delayed or stopped completely by altering the expressions of this gene.


There are several varieties of important commercial crops that could benefit from enhanced size. Plants such as cotton, wheat, linseed, coffee beans, cocoa beans, cherries, apples, and grapes may have several commercial advantages such as ease of harvest. For example, fewer coffee beans would need to be picked for the same yield. High value fruiting bodies such as avocado, figs, dates, blueberries, and kiwis may yield more edible fruit for the same sized seeds. In the control of shattering, substantial losses of yield occur every year from premature seed dispersal, so delaying or halting seed release could allow for much greater seed recovery, to boost yields.

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 6,541,683 04/01/2003 1997-105
United States Of America Issued Patent 6,229,068 05/08/2001 1997-105


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  • Yanofsky, Martin F.

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