PORTLAND, ME--(Marketwire - February 09, 2010) -
EnviroLogix Inc., a company that develops and manufactures rapid, on-site and lab-based agricultural diagnostics, and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, MO, the world's largest nonprofit research institute focused on plant science, announced that they will collaborate to support one of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges in Global Health.
Under the announced collaboration, EnviroLogix will develop Enzyme-Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assays (ELISAs) to permit quantifying the expression of phytoene synthase and phytoene desaturase -- two proteins involved in the production of beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A -- in rice, sorghum and banana.
Grand Challenge #9 (GC9) focuses on the use of appropriate technologies to increase nutrients in local crops in a socially and culturally acceptable way. The GC9 projects work to provide combinations of micronutrients, vitamins and essential amino acids in a bioavailable form in crops such as rice, sorghum, cassava and bananas, or to enhance energy density and improve protein quality in such foods.
These immunological assays are important tools for use by the researchers and product development specialists at the Danforth Plant Science Center and other institutions who are actively engaged in the identification of crop varieties with improved amounts of beta carotene.
"Use of these assays will streamline the crop evaluation process and reduce the timeline toward delivering these nutritionally improved crops to subsistence farmers in Africa. Further, these assays are essential for generating data required for regulatory approvals in the countries where these crops will be cultivated," said Paul Anderson, executive director, Office of International Programs, Danforth Plant Science Center.
EnviroLogix CEO, Bruce S. Ferguson, said, "Our commitment to rigorous quality control is an EnviroLogix hallmark. I am confident that our scientists will develop superior assays for the Danforth Center. We consider it a privilege to be associated with the Center's BioSafety Resource Network (BRN) that is working to ensure that GC9 research projects address quality assurance, biosafety science and regulatory science requirements."
About the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research at the Danforth Center will feed the hungry and improve human health, preserve and renew the environment, and enhance the St. Louis region and Missouri as a world center for plant science. Please visit www.danforthcenter.org for additional information.
EnviroLogix, founded in 1996, develops, manufactures, markets and sells immunoassays for detecting proteins, enzymes, mycotoxins, plant pathogens, natural toxins and chemical contaminants in multiple plant matrices. In 2009, through the acquisition of exclusive worldwide rights to patented isothermal Nicking Enzyme Amplification Reaction (NEAR) technology, EnviroLogix broadened its Custom Assay Development capabilities to include rapid, field-friendly molecular diagnostics designed specifically for agricultural, plant pathogen and veterinary applications. Please visit www.envirologix.com for additional information.