Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Using Chlorella Ohadii Algae Genes to Improve Plant Resistance to Photodamage

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

Summary of the technology

A photo damage resistant transgenic plant.
Project ID : 8-2018-5702

Description of the technology

Our Innovation

  • A transgenic plant that expresses genes of Chlorella Ohadii algae, and thus demonstrate significant resistance to photo damage
  • Prof. Kaplan’s research group has discovered C. Ohadii , a unique type of algae found to be completely resilient to photo damage even under extremely high light intensities. The algae demonstrates the highest growth rate among photosynthetic eukaryotes , as such its discovery is considered a game changer.
  • Prof. Kaplan is the only researcher to fully sequence the C.Ohadii genome and isolate the specific genes controlling photo-inhibition resistance.
  • The researcher transformed genes to ARABIDOPSIS plant and discovered up to 6 genes that significantly impacted the plants resistance to photo damage, contributing to the overall plant biomass accumulation and improved plant growth factors.
  • These results were obtained in lab conditions with significant statistical impact. Thus, suggesting the first ever solution to the problem of photo damage.


Photo damage is caused by excess light intensities, and leads to the disintegration of protein D1, a key protein in the Photosystem II (PSII) reaction center. In lower light intensities, the plant is able to overcome the damage, however, in the higher levels, the amount of energy the plant puts in the biosynthesis of new D1 protein reduces product yield (10-50%) in all plant types.

For decades, the process of photo damage was investigated, however until now, no solution has been found to overcome this problem.


Currently there are no known competitors for similar technologies, and the problem of photo damage is considered inevitable.

The invention is applicable for the agritech field. Due its large market and high sensitivity to photo damage, soy, for example, is an applicable choice for such technology.

Project manager

Ilya Pittel

Project researchers

Aaron Kaplan
HUJI, Faculty of Science
The Alexander Silberman Institute for Life Sciences

Nir Keren
HUJI, Faculty of Science
The Alexander Silberman Institute for Life Sciences

Related keywords

  • Agro chemicals
  • Agriculture and Marine Resources
  • Agriculture
  • Agrofood Industry
  • Technologies for the food industry
  • Food Additives/Ingredients/Functional Food
  • Food Processing
  • Food quality and safety
  • Agriculture Machinery / Technology
  • Crop Production
  • Biocontrol
  • Food Microbiology / Toxicology / Quality Control
  • Tracability of food
  • Horticulture
  • Precision agriculture
  • Detection and Analysis methods
  • Fire Resistance/Safety
  • Agricultural genetic engineering applications
  • Agricultural chemicals
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Animal Husbandry and Related Products
  • Plant health
  • Plant and animal health
  • agriculture
  • Plant Protection & Bio-Control

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.

Send your request

By clicking "Send your request" you are signing up and accepting our Terms of Service and Privacy policy

Technology Offers on Innoget are directly posted and managed by its members as well as evaluation of requests for information. Innoget is the trusted open innovation and science network aimed at directly connect industry needs with professionals online.