NuPlant is a biotechnology company that aims to improve the productivity of the global tissue culture market by commercializing its SmartClone™ technologies and to use these technologies to produce clonal propagation material of selected crops in its own tissue culture facility and, more importantly, to enable partner organisations to use these capabilities for large-scale plantlet production. SmartClone™ technologies are protected under the following.
1. PCT/AU2008/001157 (PCT WO 2009/021274 A4) entitled "plant propagation transfer method"; This is published and has entered national phase in Europe, Japanm United States and Australia.
2. International Patent Application N. PCT/AU2010/001008 entitled "plantlet handling system" 2010901431 claims priority from Australian Provisional Patent Application 2009903687 entitled "plantlet holder" and from Australian Provisional Patent Application 20109014321 entitled "plantlet handling system".
3. Australian Provisional Patent Application No. 2011902262 "Robotic Plantlet Handling System", filed 8 June 2011.
To augment its key SmartClone™ technology, NuPlant also has highly valuable capabilities in plant physiology, nutrition and molecular breeding, captured in part in its NuBred™ technologies, and these can be integrated synergistically with SmartClone™ technologies.
Clonal propagation provides the most direct means to capture genetic gains from advanced breeding. Cloning has been used for thousands of years through methods such as cutting and tuber propagation, but these methods are generally slow and limited in application. Tissue culture methods developed about 50 years ago provide disease-free plants with much more rapid propagation. However, these methods are not effective with all species, and the cost was generally not cost-competitive with seed. Application was confined to species where higher unit prices can be commanded for the benefits of disease-free or genetically improved plants. There are many crops that can benefit from clonal propagation, but practical methods are not available. In addition, there are many species for which tissue culture may be biologically successful, but for which cost-sensitivity precludes use of conventional methods. SmartClone™ has the potential, by improving tissue culture growth and increasing operational efficiency, to massively extend the benefits of cloning to crops currently depending on seed propagation, with applications in broad acre farming, horticulture, forestry and biofuels.
SmartClone™ represents a fast-track delivery system for genetic improvements obtained through breeding. NuPlant is committed to the improvement of clonal propagation techniques to produce tougher plants faster. NuPlant focuses on the commercialization of its proprietary SmartClone™ plantlet propagation systems through the sale of SmartClone™ robotic systems and related consumables to enable tissue culture operations worldwide to increase production and improve the quality of the plant propagation material produced. NuPlant also operates a tissue culture facility with annual robotic SmartClone™ throughput of, depending on the characteristics of specific plantlets produced, between 5 and 10 million plantlets per year.
SmartClone™ - Tougher plantlets faster
SmartClone™ changes the tissue culture paradigm. NuPlant’s key technology allows conditions to be customized for each growth phase for more robust plantlets, grading for uniformity, robotic handling for laboratory efficiency, easy soil transfer, and a head start for accelerated nursery growth.