Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Extending Shelf-life of Crop Plants by Reducing Steroidal Glycoalkaloids Production

Posted by Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew UniversityResponsive · Innovative Products and Technologies · Israel

Summary of the technology

Old: Extended Shelf-life of Crop Plants by Reduction of Steroidal Glycoalkaloids Production
Project ID : 8-2017-4522

Description of the technology


The development is an innovative technique to cost-effectively preserve and prolong shelf-life in crop-plants.
A wide range of agricultural crops such as tomato, potato, eggplant and other Solanaceous species overcome oxidative stress by the producing steroidal glycoalkaloids (SGAs) and steroidal saponins. Although SGAs contribute to plant’s resistance to a wide range of pathogens and predators, some are considered as toxic to humans.

Our Innovation

This innovative technology offers an improved nutritional composition and prolonged shelf-life of Solanaceous crop-plants widely consumed worldwide.


  • Prolongs shelf-life by preventing post-harvest elevated toxicity levels.
  • Reduces undesired anti-nutritional alkaloids, without affecting other biological plant pathways.
  • Helps avoiding spoilage and toxicity of plants during storage and processing.


The invention relates to key genes and enzymes on the biosynthesis pathway converting cholesterol to SGA. Biosynthesis involves an array of genes. Modulation of specific regulatory, transcription factor genes had enabled strict control of the production of steroidal alkaloids and glycosylated derivatives therefore.


Modification of steroidal glycoalkaloids and steroidal saponins compounds in plants can be used for two main purposes:

  • Widely used crop-plants from Solanaceae species with reduced anti-nutritional components. Leading to a longer shelf-life of crop-plants with safer nutritional compounds.
  • Highly resistant modified plant with enriched toxic steroidal glycoalkaloids content for non-edible usage.

Project manager

Ilya Pittel

Project researchers

Saul Burdman
HUJI, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences
Plant Pathology and Microbiology

Asaph (WIS) Aharoni

HUJI, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences


Related keywords

  • Agro chemicals
  • Agriculture
  • Agriculture and Marine Resources
  • Crop Production
  • Agricultural genetic engineering applications
  • Agricultural chemicals
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Animal Husbandry and Related Products
  • agriculture
  • plant genetics

About Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Technology Transfer Office from Israel

Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ltd. Founded in 1964 to protect and commercialize the Hebrew University’s intellectual property. Ranked among the top technology transfer companies, Yissum has registered over 8,900 patents covering 2,500 inventions; has licensed out 800 technologies and has spun-off 90 companies. Products that are based on Hebrew University technologies and were commercialized by Yissum generate today over $2 Billion in annual sales.

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