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News Article

Selecta Klemm and Mendel Biotechnology Establish Ornamental Bioscience

German-based Selecta Klemm and US-based Mendel Biotechnology Inc. have signed a definitive agreement to form a joint venture to develop and market transgenic ornamental plants.

German-based Selecta Klemm and US-based Mendel Biotechnology Inc. have signed a definitive agreement to form a joint venture to develop and market transgenic ornamental plants.

The new entity, Ornamental Bioscience, combines Mendel's technological expertise and patent estate in drought, cold and freeze tolerance, disease resistance and flower stability traits along with Selecta's experience in plant transformation technology, its extensive variety patent estate and experience in marketing ornamentals world wide. Ornamental Bioscience has secured commercial rights to critical enabling technology, through Mendel, that enable it to bring transgenic ornamental plants to the marketplace.

According to Christian Klemm, CEO of Ornamental BioScience: "We envision the ornamental market will undergo substantial development in the coming decade. From 1995, transgenic plants rapidly captured market in the primary agricultural food crops. Now it is time for ornamental horticulture to catch up. The global market for ornamental flowers has an annual retail value of several billion dollars. Ornamental Bioscience will apply modern biotechnology substantially to improve the characteristic traits for producer, trade and consumer to bring us premium positioning in this market. For marketing and distribution we are considering different models depending of the specific nature, market and added value of each product."

Ornamental Bioscience today is working exclusively on crops from the Selecta product range, successfully transforming Petunias, Poinsettias, New Guinea Impatiens and Geraniums. In the coming years the range of products is expected to extend greatly. "We believe that this technology has an exciting future and intend to contribute to its acceptance as an industry standard. As part of this strategy, we will cooperate with leading breeders and distributors for pot plants and cut flowers," says Klemm..

Ornamental Bioscience believes it has an exceptional opportunity to bring value to the market by combining the expertise of Mendel's discoveries of the functions of genetic switches that control many important aspects of plant growth, metabolism and stress responses and Selecta's experience. Over the past decade Selecta has added the skill of developing successful transformation protocol to its outstanding expertise in breeding, manufacturing and marketing ornamental plants world wide.

Family-owned Selecta is a major breeding and propagation companies in the field of vegetatively-propagated ornamental plants. Over the past 40 years Selecta has created a wide estate of patents and breeder rights for cut flowers, pot, and bedding plants. Throughout the world Selecta operates out of seven key production, breeding and distribution locations along with other facilities.

Selecta has been active in the field of biotechnology since 1996. The company cooperated in developing a blue carnation with Florigene of Australia. Blue carnations are to date the only transgenic ornamental plants manufactured and distributed throughout the world.

Following this, in 2002, Selecta identified abiotic stress tolerance as a key issue for the future market and began work under a technology license from Mendel. In 2005, a disease resistance program was established. Currently transgenic Petunias, Poinsettias, New Guinea Impatiens and Geraniums are being evaluated for frost, drought and disease resistance.

Article details

  • Author(s)
  • David Hemming
  • Date
  • 19 September 2006
  • Subject(s)
  • Genetic engineering/ modification