On April 13, 2021, the USPTO granted to KeyGene U.S. Patent No. 10,978,175 entitled “Strategies for high throughput identification and detection of polymorphisms”, relating to an innovative product that facilitates streamlined and multiplex library preparation for sequencing.

The patent covers a synthetic double-stranded adapter comprising a 3’-T overhang and an identifier sequence. Such barcoded 3’-T overhang adapter encompasses a synthetic double-stranded or partly double-stranded adapter containing a ‘T’-base overhang for orienting ligation to an A-tailed DNA fragment or amplicon. These adapters find application in many workflows of Next Generation Sequencing methods, which have a wide reach in medical and agricultural research and diagnostics, ranging from scoring Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) markers linked to valuable traits in crops and animals to detection of specific mutations associated with human diseases.

"This invention especially helps people that would like to use DNA sequencing to select better genotypes," says Erik Toussaint with KeyGene. This technology can be particularly beneficial for breeders. "Breeders use DNA as a very important tool to support the breeding process. For instance, when I started conducting researches, and found a cannabis plant with an interesting trait, I'd be perfectly happy, even though it wasn't known why a cultivar was better than another. Bluntly put, it was literally impossible to use any data to support future breeding. Thanks to our technology, now you can find out which part of the DNA is responsible for that better performing plant, and thus you can leverage that knowledge for future breeding programs."

Indeed, KeyGene solution makes it easy to treat the DNA in such a way that it can be easily analyzed.

KeyGene offers access to its NGS patent estate through strategic partnerships, research services and licenses, and remains committed to providing broad access to these powerful methods through its global licensing program for interested parties in all life sciences fields.

"Our technology helps breeders to make choices to improve the breeding program," Erik continues. "Bluntly put, it allows breeders to understand which part of the DNA is responsible for a specific trait of the plant. This greatly helps to select the right parents, but also to further analyze the progeny and choose the best plant from that." 

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