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Chromatin, Inc. Passes Major Milestone in Sweet Sorghum Technologies

Dec 13th, 2011

CHICAGO, IL December 13, 2011 — Chromatin, Inc., a developer of energy-crop feedstocks, today said it has used its proprietary mini-chromosome technology to enable the improvement of sorghum with multiple new sets of genes. This is a major milestone in Chromatin's program to customize sorghum to meet the specialized needs of power, fuel and chemical producers.

Using its mini-chromosome technology, Chromatin was able to simultaneously introduce multiple genes into a plant cell on an independent chromosome without impacting the host genome. In contrast, more traditional crop transformation technologies usually introduce only a single gene, or limited numbers of genes, and involve disrupting the plant's genome when introduced.

"We are focused on enhancing sorghum feedstocks to increase yields and enhance the quality of fuel, power, and chemical production," said David Jessen, Chromatin's Chief Technology Officer. "In addition to a robust crop breeding program, the ability to add a large number of genes with our proprietary mini-chromosome platform makes it possible to enhance sorghum in a controllable and efficient way."

Chromatin demonstrated its sorghum mini-chromosome technology by inserting a gene "stack" into a sweet sorghum line. Sweet sorghum, much like sugarcane, produces ample quantities of sugar-rich juice that can be used by processors to generate fuels and renewable chemicals. Sorghum can be grown today from the tropics to temperate regions, on marginal lands not ideal for food production and under harsh growing conditions. In addition to enhancing sweet sorghum, mini-chromosome technology can be used to modify other sorghum types, including grain and forage sorghums.

"As we examined several different sorghum lines containing mini-chromosomes, we were pleased to see that the gene stacks behaved as expected" commented Otto Folkerts, Director of Transgenic Programs at Chromatin. "We are confident that we can create new sorghum hybrids that carry the genes needed for improvement, while keeping the native host genome intact".

Chromatin also has licensed its proprietary mini-chromosome technology to leading international agriculture companies working on corn, soybeans, cotton and sugarcane.

About Chromatin:

Chromatin, Inc. is developing renewable energy-crop feedstocks for power, fuel and chemical producers. It also is developing expertise in the supply chains to serve energy fuel and chemical producers and is serving growers by developing high-value next-generation sorghum seeds using its proprietary crop- breeding technology and biotechnology programs. The company licenses its innovative gene-stacking technologies to support the crop-breeding programs of leading agriculture companies, and it applies these technology platforms to its subsidiary, Sorghum Partners LLC, which produces and markets hybrid sorghum seeds to growers in the US and more than 20 other countries. Chromatin is privately owned and based in Chicago. For additional information, please visit