TRANSGENIC BEANS HERBICIDE-TOLERANTAgracetus Inc. reports that it has developed the first transgenicbeans. They contain genes for herbicide tolerance, genes forresistance to bean golden mosaic virus and bean commonmosaic virus, and a GUS marker gene.

Agracetus, a Middleton, Wisc., subsidiary of W.R. Grace & Co.,has tested the transgenic beans in the greenhouse and foundhigh levels of herbicide tolerance, said Kenneth Barton, vicepresident of research and development at Agracetus. Hedeclined to identify the herbicide used. The company doesn'tplan any field trials this year, Barton said.

Work on virus resistance is being done in collaboration withresearchers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Scientiststhere are working on blocking viral replication in beans andusing viral coat proteins to confer resistance.

Agracetus said it used particle gun technology, in which pelletscoated with DNA are shot into cells, to develop the transgenicbeans.


Boston Biomedica Inc., maker of infectious disease diagnosticreagents, said Wednesday it has licensed Kyowa Medex Co. Ltd.for the exclusive marketing and distribution of the WestBridgewater, Mass., companyLs viral hepatitis, AIDS and otherdiagnostic products in Japan.

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