Drought-Inducible Utility Promoters


Executive Summary


Many advances have been made in plant biotechnology regarding pesticide resistance, but little has been done to improve drought resistance.  In times of global climate change and more extreme weather conditions, technology to increase drought resistance is much needed to prevent crop shortages that reduce food security, drive up food prices, and increase production costs for many other industries that rely on major field crops.  In 2012, the corn industry alone saw a loss of $4 billion due to drought conditions.  Our technology is a key development in regulated expression of drought resistant technology, enabling increased drought resistance under water stress conditions while minimizing or eliminating negative effects on plant productivity under water-replete conditions.


Description of Technology


This new MSU technology for regulated expression of drought-tolerance transgenes or cisgenes enhances plants’ ability to endure drought conditions while providing normal growth under water-replete conditions. The synthetic promoter has been tested in combination with a Xerico drought tolerance gene.  The transgenic plants showed positive results for drought-induced stress treatments, including fast recovery from drought, low transpirational water loss, and no growth defects under normal conditions.


Key Benefits

  • Increased drought tolerance
  • Fast drought recovery
  • No phenotypic abnormalities
  • Increased crop yields
  • Decreased irrigation costs
  • Higher land value in water-scarce regions
  • Lower crop insurance premiums



  • Drought tolerant plants


Patent Status:


Pending 14/617,061

Licensing Rights Available


Non-exclusive rights or exclusive rights for certain fields of use available.


Inventors: Dr. Kyung-Hwan Han, Dr. Won-Chan Kim, Dr. Joo-Yeol Kim, Dr. Jae-Heung Ko


Tech ID: TEC2013-0115


Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Thomas Herlache
Assistant Director
Michigan State University