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US biotech firm signs deal with USDA for cotton research
15
Jan '16
An American biotechnology firm has signed an agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)for enhanced Cotton Genotyping Technology that will enable the identification of global cotton cultivars or varieties to “secure” supply chains.

Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. (APDN), a provider of biotechnology-driven solutions, has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the USDA to enhance identification methods of cotton species and cultivars (subspecies), collectively, trademarked as fibre Typing. This enhanced fibre Typing will genetically verify multiple types of individual cotton cultivars and assist the cotton industry in protecting quality, traceability and economic investments, APDN said in a press release.

Enhanced fiber Typing, for example, will be able to differentiate cotton based on country of origin and could ensure that cotton from countries known to use child labour would not be incorporated into tested products. APDN has been granted an option to negotiate an exclusive license for any inventions made by USDA or jointly made by APDN and USDA.

“Our collaboration with the USDA will accelerate our ability to identify key cultivars for specific cotton growing regions based on our patented technology. We believe the synergy of our expertise, together with the expertise of the cotton genomics experts at USDA, will result in a library of key cotton genome targets for commercial use,” said Dr. Mike Hogan, VP of Life Sciences at Applied DNA Sciences.

“Consequently, we will be able to identify the fibres that are most desirable, and exclude fibres that are harvested from regions known to use forced or underage labour.” Already proven in commercial use, APDN's current fibre Typing methods are used to analyze cotton products, and confirm with precision the presence of Gossypiumbarbadense DNA (or Pima Extra Long Staple) and/or Gossypiumhirsutum DNA (or Upland).

Applied DNA Sciences is the exclusive owner of the US patents No.8,669,079, and No.8,940,485 related to fiber Typing and genotyping based methodologies for cotton. The USDA, through its Agricultural Research Service, Genetics and Sustainable Agriculture Research Unit works to expand knowledge of the genetics and molecular biology of cotton.Using this CRADA, APDN intends to verify desirable claims for cotton such as whether it is sustainably or organically grown, free of the impact of human trafficking or child labour and source-verified.

Dr. James Hayward, CEO of Applied DNA Sciences said, “APDN's commodity genotyping services will enable its customers to fight fraudulent claims in natural fibres, woods, dietary supplements and foods (such as olives, coffee, fish and other foods.) We will make the world more real and safe.“ (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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