Performance Plants Inc. Issued U.S. Patent for Drought-Tolerance Gene Technology

KINGSTON, ON. April 11, 2007 – Performance Plants Inc., a leading Canadian agricultural biotechnology company, is pleased to announce that a U.S. patent has been issued to one of its genebased technologies for improving drought tolerance in plants.

U.S. Patent Number 7,172,881 was issued Feb. 6 for the patent entitled “Isolated nucleic acids encoding farnesyl transferase alpha” (FTA). FTA is one of two signaling genes identified by Performance Plants researchers as playing a role in a plant’s ability to respond to environmental stresses such as drought. It is the Company’s first issued U.S. patent for this technology. Patents for FTA are pending in Canada and international jurisdictions.

A second signaling gene identified by Performance Plants Inc., farnesyl transferase beta (FTB), has been issued patents in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Patents are also pending in commercially important countries, including the United States and Canada.

Together, the two genes form the basis of the Company’s Yield Protection Technology™, a field-tested technology that boosts the natural drought response mechanism in plants resulting in improved plant performance and increased yield.

YPT™, which has applications in agricultural crops, ornamental plants and turf grasses, has global licenses with strategic partners including Syngenta Seeds for the development of drought tolerant corn and soybeans; and the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company for the development and commercialization in turf grass and ornamentals for the professional and consumer markets. The issuance of this patent is a significant step forward in providing Performance Plants Inc. and its partners the patent protection required to develop these drought tolerant plants for commercial success.

Named inventors on the patent are lead investigator Dr. Yafan Huang, Vice President, Research and Chief Scientific Officer of Performance Plants, and research team members Maryse Chalifoux, Yang Wang, Dr. Monika Kuzma and Angela Gilley.

“The issuing of this first U.S. patent for our YPT™ technology is significant recognition of its potential,” says Dr. David Dennis, CEO. “Not only do these genes allow the development of crops to withstand drought, but they also potentially broaden the environments where traditional crops can be grown. Water use efficiency is a growing concern in many parts of the world, and we at Performance Plants continue to look for ways to address this important environmental issue.”