24 July, 2012
Application of Plant Breeders' Rights (PBR) for
The submission of the
application for Plant Breeders' Rights for the CSIR eucalypt clone GxN2107 is
the first of its kind in South Africa as no applications for forest tree
species have been submitted and no guidelines have been drafted before. The advantage of intellectual property rights
is that breeders obtain legal ownership which then entitles them to
commercially exploit the protected plant variety.
clone CSIR GxN2107 (hybrid first called PP2107 before application) showed good
performance in six trials at different localities (Enon, Ingwe,
Paulpietersburg, Greytown, Spitzkop and Etterby) and good rooting ability. It
was therefore decided to apply for Plant Breeders' Rights. In order to obtain
Plant Breeders' Rights, the
propagating material must comply with the DUS (distinctness, uniformity and
stability) requirements (DOA, 1997- Plant Breeders' Rights, what are plant
breeders' rights? Available at: http://www.nda.agric.za/docs/geneticresources/variety_control.htm [accessed 24 April 2008]). The primary characteristics assessed were bark type,
branching and leaf characteristics. Future studies on the reproductive and
floral characteristics when the trees are more mature will provide more traits
to characterise the clones and reinforce the uniformity, distinctness and
stability principles. A report on the study was compiled ((Report:
CSIR/NRE/FOR/ER/2009/0015/B) and serves
as a reference guide to use when characterising Eucalyptus germplasm for the application of Plant Breeders' Rights. The genetic identity of the clones was further
resolved by developing a public domain molecular marker panel (done by the
Forestry and Agriculture Biotechnology Institute (FABI), at the University of
Pretoria) that will result in unique DNA fingerprinting profiles for Eucalyptus
clonal verification. Ten microsatellite markers were included in the
multilocus marker panel for cultivar-specific DNA fingerprinting of the clone.
Figure 9: The CSIR commercial clone CSIR
GxN2107 (PP2107) in the nursery
following were consulted during the sourcing of information and requirements
for the application:
- Dennis Rae, manager from Westfalia in February
2007. Westfalia was approached as
they are very familiar with registration of Plant Breeders' Rights for
agricultural varieties (particularly avocado).
- Senior Plant and
Quality Control Officer, Ms Elna du Bruyn, at the then Department of
Agriculture (DOA) in August 2007. At the time the DOA had requested a
technical questionnaire (which specifies the categories of characteristics
that must uniquely identify the variety, phenotypically through visually
discernable traits) from the South African representative (Ms Lynette
Croukamp) of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties
of Plants. A specific technical questionnaire for non-ornamental tree
species was obtained that had been drafted in conjunction with Brazil who
had experience with this.
- NCT personnel and Kay
Nixon (a retired scientist) during the pilot study visits to trials to
assess hybrid clones, and to compare with various seedling controls to
identify the potential clone for application of PBRs.
application for PBR was done in consultation with Spoor and Fisher and
Filing and registration of the
application on the 22 April 2010 with the Registrar of Plant Breeders' Rights
Obtaining protective direction (s14 PBR Act) for the
clone, which is a granted provisional means of protection allowing the owner to
sue for infringement regarding that variety (CSIR GxN2107 in this case).
Publication of the application in the
South African Plant Variety Journal in June 2010, and thereby made public for
opposition by interested parties.
The period of objection expired
in November 2010 without any objections being registered.
The examination of the CSIR GxN2107 clone
including visiting of trial sites by DAFF officials. The examination was to be
undertaken by the Registrar during 2011, and CSIR advised of the outcome of the
evaluation but this is yet to be received by the CSIR.
The protective direction (s14 PBR Act) which was
obtained for the CSIR GxN2107 clone was removed to allow the nurseries to start
bulking up the clone for commercial deployment.
In September 2010 Sunshine Seedlings nursery
supplied Sutherland nursery (licensed) with CSIR GxN2107 for bulking up.
poster entitled 'Protection of Intellectual Property through Plant Breeders'
Rights for Eucalyptus species within
the forestry industry: the CSIR GxN2107 case study' was presented at the 4th
ICFR Forest Science Symposium held in early August 2010. The authors and
co-authors included were Hobololo V., Verryn S.D., Snedden C.L., Naidoo, N. and
I. Thompson. A detailed report of the investigation was compiled (Report: