Missouri Patent of the Month – November 2021

Methanotrophs and methylotrophs are a type of bacterium known for their consumption o f one-carbon organic compounds (eg. methane and methanol). Pink Pigmented Facultative Methylotrophs (PPFM) use complex organic compounds like organic acids, sugars and alcohols. NewLeaf Symbiotics, Inc. has designed a system which uses these PPFM to promote growth of resident bacteria on plants and seeds.

NewLeaf is an agriculture technology company focused on putting PPFM to work to improve agricultural yield. Recently, they have developed a system that optimizes PPFM for tomato plants. Their system involves applying a coating of PPFM to the tomato plant or seed. The tomato plant comes from a strain that exhibits a trait improvement for increased root, leaf, or seeding growth rate. The PPFM are depleted of substances that promote growth of the bacteria resident to the plant. This helps the plant’s nutrient uptake by establishing a symbiotic partnership with the plant. This resource depletion and partnership is believed to promote even better growth of the resident microorganisms and therefore improved plant yield, pathogen and insect resistance, and fruit ripening. 

The technology being developed by NewLeaf is highly customized, using a unique combination of strains to bring out the very best in every single plant. As such, they have developed a strain that works best for corn, soybeans and planter boxes, and tomato plants will be their next big conquest.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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