Apyrase Control Trait (ACT) Technology

The lead technology that supports Texas Crop Science’s commercialization efforts is a fundamental regulator of plant growth and development that can enhance crop productivity. We call it ACT, which symbolizes a strong foundation upon which to grow. The technology behind ACT was developed by, and is exclusively licensed to Texas Crop Science by The University of Texas. The technology inventor, and head of our Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Stanley Roux, is interested in what makes plants tick. Over thirty years ago a scientific anomaly in human biology grabbed his attention. Dr. Roux decided to see if the same anomaly held true in plants, and he has been answering questions and making discoveries in the field of apyrase research ever since.

Apyrases are enzymes that remove the terminal phosphate from NTPs and NDPs. In this role, they convert ATP to ADP and ADP to AMP. Cells export ATP as they grow, and maintaining the level of extracellular ATP (eATp) is crucial for maintaining growth. Genetic and chemical evidence shows that certain apyrases hydrolyze ATP in the extra cellular matrix or in secretory vesicles that deliver ATP to the extra cellular matrix. Through this function, apyrases are able to regulate the concentration of eATP.

Manipulating the level of apyrase activity in plants has been shown to have powerful effects across diverse plant functions. Click here for links to peer-reviewed publications that highlight the technology upon which ACT is built.

We've found that the application of ACT technology facilitates a systemically robust plant. We have demonstrated benefits of ACT in both monocot and dicot crops:

  • Enhanced nutrient utilization/efficiency: Our data indicate that plants with PYRAMAX have the ability to take up and utilize nutrients more efficiently.
  • Enhanced drought resistance and water utilization. In greenhouse and field trials, we've enhanced drought resistance and water utilization with our technology.
  • Enhanced yield potential: Multiple field trials in different geographies and under various levels of environmental stress show significantly enhanced yield potential with PYRAMAX technology.

Considering our warming planet, diminishing available farmland, and the need to feed our growing world population, we believe ACT technology can be a powerful tool for 21st Century growers worldwide.