Agritope Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Epitope Inc.(AMEX:EPT), has received a grant of $47,270 from the OregonDepartment of Agriculture's Center for Applied AgriculturalResearch to support Agritope's development of fresh redraspberries with extended post-harvest shelf life. Agritopewill match CAAR funding. The Oregon Caneberry Commissionwill provide additional support.
Because red raspberries spoil rapidly, only 5 percent of redraspberries grown in the United States are eaten fresh. TheU.S. fresh red raspberry market is $2 million annually, butAgritope believes the market for fresh raspberries couldmatch that for fresh strawberries.
Agritope hopes to use Agrobacterium tumefasciens, a plantbacterium commonly used to transfer genes into plants, totransfer its proprietary ethylene control gene into raspberries.Ethylene gas induces ripening of fruit and subsequent spoilage.Agritope derived the gene from a T3 bacteriophage. Thecompany is also isolating promoters to control expression ofthe gene, said James Stamp, a senior scientist at theBeaverton, Ore., company.
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