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KeyGene Patent Upheld in Europe

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Dutch agricultural genetics firm KeyGene today said that its patent pertaining to plant breeding has been upheld in Europe.

European Patent No. 1929039 was upheld after opposition "confirming the innovative value of this patent in its strategic patent portfolio," KeyGene said in a statement. The patent, titled "High-throughput screening of mutagenized populations," underlies KeyGene's Mutation Breeding methodology for high-throughput mutation detection in M1 and M2 mutagenized and natural populations.

According to KeyGene, the patent relates to a method based on isolating the DNA of each member of the population, pooling the DNA, amplifying the target, and sequencing it with next-generation sequencing. The mutation and the population member carrying it is then identified.

According to the European Patent Office's website, GeneTwister Technologies opposed the patent in 2010.

Anker P. Sørensen, vice president of vegetable crops at KeyGene, said in a statement, "We are excited about the recognition of this valuable patent in our growing [next-generation sequencing] portfolio, helping us to reach our goals of accelerated molecular plant breeding in crops worldwide. Cost-efficient detection of genetic variation via KeyPoint MB is a key component to make this a reality."