Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Genetic Modification for Improved Water Retention in Plants

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

Summary of the technology

A method for improving water use efficiency, drought and biotic and abiotic stress resistance in plants
Project ID : 8-2014-2999

Description of the technology

Dr. David Granot, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center

Dr. Gilor Kelly, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center


Crop Plants, Water Use efficiency (WUE)

Current development stage

The development is currently applicable to GMO – transgenic plants


Most technologies to improve Water Use Efficiency (WUE) in plants involve enhancement of Abscisic Acid Production and/or ABA responding genes. However, these approaches have many drawbacks.

Our Innovation

The new technology allows increased water use efficiency, drought and stress resistance of potentially all crop plants, increased yield and accelerated flowering.

The researchers discovered an enzyme that plays a role in the coordination between photosynthesis and transpiration. Controlled expression of the enzyme in guard cells led to reduced transpiration and thus increased overall Water Use Efficiency.


The technology employs molecular and cellular mechanisms controlling whole-plant Water-Use Efficiency, water-potential homeostasis and crop productivity, under normal and abiotic stress conditions.


The technology could be implemented by seed companies open to GMO in crop plants.

Project manager

Ilya Pittel

Project researchers

Menachem Moshelion
HUJI, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences
Plant Sciences and Genetics

David Granot


Related keywords

  • Agro chemicals
  • Agriculture
  • 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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