Metahelix is an agricultural biotechnology company focusing on developing traits and technologies for crop protection & improved productivity. Metahelix leverages its expertise in crop genetics and plant biotechnology to develop high performance hybrid seeds in rice, maize, cotton and millets for Indian markets with transgenic traits for insect, viral and fungal protection traits. Hybrid Seeds and traits are commercialized by its wholly owned seed business subsidiary, Dhaanya Seeds.
Metahelix is developing transgenic cotton and rice for insect protection using its proprietary gene constructs and transformation protocols. Metahelix has developed two versions of Bt cotton with proprietary cry1C (Spodoptera control) and cry1Ac (Bollworm control) based genes. The combination of cry1C and cry1Ac is also being developed as a stack. The Bt Cotton expressing Metahelix's cry1C gene completed field trials and received the regulatory approvals and is currently at the stage of commercialization. The biosafety studies for the Cry1C protein have been completed and the event MLS9124 is found to be safe. Metahelix candidate genes cry1Ac and cry1C have different modes of action on bollworms. While cry1Ac has no activity against Spodoptera litura, cry1C is highly effective in its control. These two genes were chosen for controlling the bollworms and Spodoptera litura and also delay resistance development among the bollworm populations.
Metahelix has also developed a Bt Rice hybrid that controls rice Yellow Stem Borer (YSB) using the Bt based Cry1Ac gene. The unique proprietary promoter that has been used to drive the expression of the insecticidal gene facilitates high levels of expression in the culm region, through which the pest larvae bore into the stem. This gene is due to enter regulatory trials.
In addition, new and novel RNAi technologies are being developed for virus and fungal tolerant traits in rice, maize and vegetables. Metahelix also provides customized research to select global Ag-biotech business using its proprietary technologies in crop transformation and functional genomics.
For more information: http://www.meta-helix.com
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