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The use of viruses as vectors to introduce genes into plants is the backdrop to Morflora’s scientific innovation. During a sponsored research, conducted at the research lab of acclaimed plant virologists Prof. Ilan Sela from the Hebrew University, scientists developed highly efficient vectors for introduction of genes or DNA sequences that can be expressed in the host plant tissues or silence genes of interest. The vectors, commercially referred to as TraitUP™, were scientifically named IL-60 and 1470 plasmids.

IL-60 and 1470 plasmids are a disarmed extraction from Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), that are no longer bound to spread in the limited hosting plants of the TYLCV, but rather in a generic manner through the a wide range of plant species, including wheat (Triticum durum), pepper (Capsicum annuum), grapevine (Vitis vinifera), orange, and olive (Olea europaea). The findings were published in a paper titled A Universal Expression/Silencing Vector in Plants*, leading to a global interest

TraitUP™ plasmid components do not integrate into the plants' genome and are not heritable. Expression or silencing of desired genes develops within a few days in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), wheat, and many other herbaceous plants, and in up to a month in woody trees. Expression, as tested in tomato, is durable and persists throughout the life span of the plant.

Further scientific breakthrough includes using TraitUP™ to deliver a complete operon over 7Kb in size, resulting in the expression of a full metabolic pathway in plants to produce PRN. For an additional explanation on the PRN please see: Expression of an Entire Bacterial Operon in Plant
Rita Mozes-Koch, Ofer Gover, Edna Tanne, Yuval Peretz, Eyal Maori, Leonid Chernin, and Ilan Sela*
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food, and Environment,
Rehovot 76100, Israel


Recent breakthrough for Morflora is the success in developing seed treatments, in which TraitUP™ is used to deliver desired genes into seeds. This innovative development is led by Prof. Haim Rabinowitch, globally renowned for achievements in tomato breeding, who has joined Morflora’s scientific team to further push the boundaries of plant science.

Not often are scientists fortunate enough to reveal a discovery which will impact science, industry and economy. This discovery requires further experimentation, yet we believe that the IL-60, on which TraitUP™ platform is based, is one of those discoveries, with a potential to impact the food supply of mankind while facilitating an evolution in modern agriculture.

* Yuval Peretz, Rita Mozes Koch, Fuad Akad, Edna Tanne, Henryk Czosnek and Ilan Sela (2007) A Universal Expression/Silencing Vector in Plants. Plant Physiology 145:1251-1263 http://www.plantphysiol.org/cgi/content/short/145/4/1251
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, Institute for Plant Sciences and Genetics, Rehovot 76100, Israel) 

 
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