Two Blades Foundation licenses TAL code technology to Mendel


EVANSTON, IL (October 9, 2012) – The Two Blades Foundation (2Blades) announced today the completion of a non-exclusive license for the TAL code genome engineering technology to Mendel Biotechnology, Inc., a leading plant science company developing improved plant varieties and crop protection solutions for global agriculture.  The TAL code is a novel, simple type of DNA recognition motif found in bacterial proteins and was discovered by Ulla Bonas, Jens Boch, Thomas Lahaye and Sebesatian Schornack of Martin Luther University in Halle, Germany.  The TAL code technology accelerates trait improvement by enabling precise gene modifications at discrete sites in genomes.  Mendel will grant back improvements to the TAL technology to 2Blades in support of the Foundation’s work to improve food security in developing countries.  The financial terms of the license were not disclosed. 

“One of Mendel’s strengths is the early application of new technologies, like the TAL code, for improving agriculture,” said Neal Gutterson, Mendel President & CEO. “We are continually expanding our technology platform to address emerging market opportunities beyond conventional biotechnology.”

“Mendel’s license further expands the range of companies making use of this powerful new technology to invent new products that meet the needs of a growing population”, said 2Blades Chief Operating Officer Diana Horvath.  “Our mission of making the TAL code broadly available for plant applications continues to be realized as we increase our licensing efforts to reach the entrepreneurial discovery sector.  It’s a tremendous benefit to 2Blades to gain access to improvements made by Mendel and our other licensees for our on-going programs to minimize crop losses due to diseases in subsistence agriculture.”

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

Mendel ( is a leading plant science company meeting the needs of global agriculture. For over fifteen years, Mendel has been deploying its plant gene regulatory networks (PGRN) platform and proprietary tools to harness the genetic potential of crops to enhance agricultural productivity, resource use efficiency and harvest quality. This PGRN platform has identified technologies for next-generation yield traits in Monsanto’s product pipeline, and is the foundation of an existing collaboration with Bayer CropScience to develop a pioneering class of crop performance chemistries.  Mendel is actively seeking collaborators and licensees to develop novel products and technologies across a broad array of agricultural applications.


2 Blades Foundation: 

Diana Horvath, Chief Operating Officer (847) 425 1277




Greg Ikonen, Sr. VP, Corporate Development (510) 259-6007



Press release