DAEJEON, Oct. 27 (Korea Bizwire) – According to the Korea Intellectual Property Office, a total of 340 patent applications related to agricultural technology that improves a crop’s resistibility to environmental stress have been submitted since 2005.
Since 2010, at least 30 patents were filed each year, 87 percent of which were by domestic applicants.
KIPO said Korea has become increasingly active in the research and development of transgenic plants – a type of genetically modified crops – and protective agents, both of which help agricultural produce become more impervious to factors like aridity, humidity, lack of sunshine, and low or high temperatures.
One such example is abscisic acid (ABA), or abscisin II.
ABA is a plant hormone that is produced in high heat or draught-like environments to induce stomatal closure, thus reducing transpiration and increasing the chances of a plant’s survival.
However, because ABA is quickly inactivated when exposed to light, it is often difficult to be used in agriculture.
To overcome the problem, ABA is either fluorinated to develop new artificial protective agents, or an entirely new transgenic plant is developed with genetically vitalized ABA channels to help plants survive dry environments.
Among the patent applications submitted since 2005, technology related to transgenic plants dominated with 308 applications said a KIPO official, which was mainly because genetically modified plants or seeds have greater application potential than protective agents.
KIPO also noted that 93 percent of all domestic patents were submitted by research institutions.
“The agricultural sector related to the development of protective agents or new species is a highly profitable field in the long-term,” an official said. “Agriculture is an industry that will continue growth with the integration of rapidly developing bio- and information technologies.”
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)