Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Animals, Agriculture & Food
Animals Agriculture Food
Quorum Quenching Functional Enzymes to Inhibit Bacterial Soft Rot
WiSys: T200005US01

Inventors: Sabrina Mueller-Spitz, Kevin Crawford, Christopher Bianchetti

WiSys is seeking strategic partners interested in the commercial use of this innovation.
A new methodology has been created to prevent the appearance of bacterial soft rot in potatoes and other plants. Harnessing the natural process of disrupting quorum-sensing, a bacterial communication phenomenon that is required by pathogens, this method offers a validated way to protect crops that are stored and transported for various lengths of time prior to consumption. This technology addresses a well-recognized threat to mainstay crops such as potatoes, and a significant market need.
The Invention
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh have identified a mechanism that can be used to control bacterial soft rot in potatoes and other plants, and have created harmless E. coli bacteria to produce the needed enzymes. Several lactonases, when applied to a vegetable, fruit or ornamental crop plant, inhibit bacterial soft rot and offer a novel, prophylactic treatment to prevent it.
  • Commercial production of potatoes and other plant products susceptible to bacterial soft rot
  • Post-harvest application of isolated, bacterial enzymes or beneficial organisms producing them
Key Benefits
  • Eliminates the incidence of soft rot in potatoes
  • Provides a safe preventative treatment for vegetable, fruit or ornamental crop plants
Stage of Development
Lactonases from several isolates that disrupt quorum sensing by QQ have been identified, purified, and expressed in E. coli hosts. Lab tests have been done and field trials, ahead of commercialization, are all that is needed to completely validate the technology.
For current licensing status, please contact Jennifer Souter at [javascript protected email address] or (608) 316-4131