Novel Coronatine-Based Herbicide Treatment Platform with Increased Pathogen Resistance for Crop Plants


Executive Summary


Despite best efforts and current technology to enhance agricultural productivity, it’s estimated that insect pests and disease reduce the value of several major world crops, including rice, wheat, and corn by 20-37% annually.  Considering more and more pests are becoming resistant to common agrochemical treatments, a crop plant that offers increased resistance to certain pathogens would be very valuable. Michigan State University has successfully developed a method for increasing plant resistance to coronatine, a necrosis-inducing plant toxin produced by the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae, without adversely affecting resistance to other crop pests, such as insects.  Novel herbicides are needed to combat weed resistance to commonly used herbicides.  The engineered COI-1 may be useful as an herbicide resistance gene paired with coronatine, or an analog, as a new herbicide.  Coronatine acts through the jasmonate signaling pathway, and no currently available herbicides target this pathway.  This may provide a new mode of action to control weeds.


Description of Technology


This novel method developed at MSU increases plant resistance to coronatine by engineering COI-1 so that it cannot bind coronatine but can still bind its native effector, jasmonic acid.  This creates plants insensitive to coronatine but that are still able to defend themselves against insects and pathogens.  The genetic modification required to impart resistance is simple and may be introduced into other plant species using genome editing techniques.  Coronatine cases necrotic lesions on sensitive plants.  The engineered COI-1 may therefore be useful as an herbicide resistance gene in combination with coronatine, or a coronatine analog, as an herbicide. This may provide a new mode of action to control weeds.   


Key Benefits

  • Increases pathogen resistance without compromising insect defense
  • Potential herbicide-resistance/herbicide with novel mode of action



  • Agriculture
  • Agricultural biotechnology


Patent Status:


Patent pending


Licensing Rights Available:


Full licensing rights available.




Sheng-Yang He, Li Zhang, John C. Withers, Jian Yao, Rahul Banerjee


Tech ID:






Crop protection, genetic engineering, Pseudomonas syringae, plant pathogen resistance


Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Thomas Herlache
Assistant Director
Michigan State University