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Rosetta Green's Candidate MicroRNA Gene for Drought Tolerance & Abiotic Stress Successful in Potato trial

 Rosetta Green
March 13, 2011
The Israeli Biotech company Rosetta Green Ltd. recently listed at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE:RSTG), demonstrated improved tolerance and survival of RGN-131 potato plants to drought stress.

Rosetta Green Ltd., which operates in the fields of crop improvement for agriculture and alternative fuels, had identified the microRNA gene RGN-131 as having potential to improve tolerance to drought and extreme environmental conditions in plants.

Amir Avniel, the Company's CEO noted: "We are marking an important achievement to the Company. These successful experimental results constitute a significant improvement in the plants' ability to withstand extreme stress conditions. The improvement of crop durability is highly important to sustainable agriculture worldwide, and even more so in light of peak prices of global food crops. The development of agricultural crops with improved tolerance to drought stress and extreme weather conditions has crucial economic significance. Drought endurance is one of the central goals in the research and development pipelines of major seed companies."

The goal of the experiment was to examine the tolerance of potato plants improved with microRNA RGN-131 to extreme conditions, simulating drought stress.

The experiment was conducted in the Company's laboratories and in the Faculty of Agriculture in Rehovot.

Potato plants expressing RGN-131 demonstrated significantly improved survival and tolerance to drought conditions compared to the control plants (which were not genetically improved).

At the end of the drought period, the two groups of plants (the control group and the improved plants) were irrigated normally. Only plants expressing RGN-131 successfully recovered and continued to develop, while the control plants completely wilted and could not continue to grow.

These experiments are the continuation of experiments in which the Company previously showed that RGN-131 expressing model plants demonstrated improved drought tolerance. It the future, the Company plans to test the function of RGN-131 in other crops such as wheat, corn, rice, soy and cotton.

The RGN-131 gene is part of a group of genes which were discovered and characterized by the Company using its unique technological platform as having potential to improve tolerance to drought, salinity and high temperature conditions in plants. Additional microRNA sequences are currently in various stages of validation by the Company in order to examine their ability to improve these and other traits in agricultural crops. Publicly available resources suggest that drought constitutes one of the most serious problems for farmers around the world, having a significant effect on crops and agricultural output.
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