Germany, SwitzerlandSwitzerland

Genetic engineers restore natural resistance mechanism

18.09.2009

Neuchâtel/Halle – Swiss and German plant researchers have restored a lost natural resistance mechanism in maize plants by means of genetic engineering. Their findings, which have been filed for patent, could eventually help prevent use of insecticides like chlothianidine that kill maize pests but also bees (Pnas 106(32), 13213-13218). After Ted Turlings (University Neuchâtel) and Joerg Degenhardt (Univeristy Halle) had transferred a gene from oregano into maize, the plants began emitting the allomone

(E)-beta-caryophyllene (EbC) from their roots. The compound attracts tiny nematodes that attack and kill larvae from the Western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgi­fera virgifera), the most damaging maize pest in the US.
The transgenic corn reduced numbers of Diabrotica beetles by 60%, as well as root damage in the plant. “The use of this indirect defense is an attractive strategy for increasing plant resistance to herbivores, and also for reducing the use of chemical pesticides,” said Degenhardt, who pointed out that the EbC gene could be reintroduced through breeding as well as by genetic engineering. The advantages of the biotech method, however, are that it is faster than breeding and helps prevent alteration of important traits such as yield. The researchers are now looking at the most effective ways to make use of the nematodes and their response to EbC. After decades of breeding, most commercial North American strains of maize have lost the ability possessed by maize ancestor varieties to attract the natu­ral enemy of the Western corn rootworm through EbC emission.

SwitzerlandSwitzerland

11.11.2011

Ghent/Geneva - Ablynx rides the biotech rollercoaster. Only days after US-pharma company Pfizer pulled out of a rheumatoid arthritis pact, the Belgian bipharmaceutical outfit expanded its relationship with Merck Serono. Ablynx...

SwitzerlandSwitzerland

10.11.2011

Alschwil - Actelion Ltd. gets a badly needed injection of fresh capital. Under the guidance of the two biggest Swiss banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, the Swiss biopharmaceutical company takes up €171 million agreeing to pay a 4,875%...

SwitzerlandSwitzerland

18.10.2011

Basel/San Diego –Swiss drug company Roche has announced it is buying biotech-company Anadys Pharmaceuticals for US$230 million. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Roche will commence an all cash tender offer for all...

Germany, SwitzerlandSwitzerland

12.10.2011

The Swiss technology transfer organisation Unitectra is the winner of the European Biotechnica Award 2011. The specialist for technology transfer received the award from hands of Lower Saxony's Minister for Economy Jörg Bode. The...

SwitzerlandSwitzerland

01.10.2011

Liestal – Swiss Santhera AG has announced strict savings measures. Out of a total of 21 employees, almost every second is now slated to be sacked. The biotech firm is closing its department of preclinical development and scaling...

SwitzerlandSwitzerland

01.10.2011

Schlieren – Swiss biotechnology company Cytos AG has finally devised a plan to help its lead candidate into Phase II, but to achieve it, the cash-strapped company is having to slash its workforce by a whopping 85%. To ensure the...

SwitzerlandSwitzerland

01.10.2011

Geneva – Swiss biotech Addex Pharmaceuticals AG has regained all rights to its metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 (mGluR4) positive allosteric modulator (PAM) programme from Merck&Co, (known as MSD outside the United States and...

SwitzerlandSwitzerland

01.10.2011

Hamburg – When the compound EVT302 failed proof-of-concept testing in the spring of 2009, investors began backing away from Evotec AG shares. Now the selective MAO-B inhibitor is back, and has powered a leap in the company’s...

SwitzerlandSwitzerland

15.09.2011

Zurich – The FDA has posted a manufacturing warning to Lonza following an inspection of the firm's microbial production site for Eisai’s cancer drug Ontak in Hopkinton. However, analysts at Vontobel said that the impact of the...

SwitzerlandSwitzerland

30.08.2011

Schlieren - Swiss biotechnology company Cytos has devised a plan to get its lead candidate into Phase II. To achieve this, the cash strapped company will slash its workforce, as previously announced, by 85%. To ensure the...

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