Two Blades Foundation licenses TAL Code technology to Monsanto

EVANSTON, IL  (April 16, 2012) — The Two Blades Foundation (2Blades) has completed a non-exclusive license agreement with the Monsanto Company for access to the TAL Code technology for genome engineering in plants. 

The Transcription Activator Like (TAL) effector Code technology, discovered by Ulla Bonas, Jens Boch, Thomas Lahaye, and Sebastian Schornack at Martin-Luther University in Halle, Germany, is based on novel sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins that can be designed quickly and easily to recognize virtually any sequence of interest.  Named Method of the Year in 2011 by the journal Nature Methods (9:1 doi:10.1038/nmeth.1852), the technology enables a number of highly useful tools to target specific loci in a genome and modulate the expression of genes.   The application of these tools in plants will accelerate improvements in crop growth and development.

The Two Blades Foundation holds exclusive rights for commercial uses of the technology in plants.  “Having Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company, put the TAL Code technology to use in their programs will further ensure its wide use and development,” said 2Blades Chief Operating Officer Diana Horvath.  2Blades will gain access to Monsanto’s improvements to the technology for use in 2Blades’ humanitarian efforts in support of subsistence farming.

The license agreement will aid Monsanto’s mission to develop high quality products for sustainable agriculture through science-based solutions.  Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The Two Blades Foundation ( is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation dedicated to developing durable disease resistance in agricultural crops.