Marc Van Montagu
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Marc Van Montagu (born 10 November 1933 in Ghent) is a Belgian molecular biologist. He was full professor and director of the Laboratory of Genetics at the faculty of Sciences at Ghent University (Belgium) and scientific director of the Genetics Department of the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB). Together with Jozef Schell he founded the biotech company Plant Genetic Systems Inc. (Belgium) in 1982, of which he was Scientific Director and member of the board of Directors. Marc Van Montagu was also involved in founding the biotech company CropDesign, of which he was a Board member from 1998 to 2004. He is president of the lobby European Federation of Biotechnology (EFB) and of the Public Research and Regulation Initiative (PRRI).
Although Marc Van Montagu, et al. were credited with the discovery of the Ti plasmid, the first person to isolate the "Tumor Inducing Principle" later called the Ti plasmid from Agrobacterium and complete Koch's postulates with it in a plant system was Floyd Poruban, a graduate student in the Department of Plant Pathology at The Ohio State University, in 1964. However, together with his colleague Prof. Jeff Schell, Marc Van Montagu discovered the gene transfer mechanism between Agrobacterium and plants, which resulted in the development of methods to alter Agrobacterium into an efficient delivery system for gene engineering and to create transgenic plants. He developed plant molecular genetics, in particular molecular mechanisms for cell proliferation and differentiation and response to abiotic stresses (high light, ozone, cold, salt and drought) and constructed transgenic crops (tobacco, rape seed, corn) resistant to insect pest and tolerant to novel herbicides. His work with poplar trees resulted in engineering of trees with improved pulping qualities.
He has received numerous outstanding awards for his pioneering work, including the prestigious Japan Prize. He has been a foreign associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences since 1986, the agricultural Academy of Russia and France, the Academy of Engineering of Sweden and the Italian Academy of Sciences dei XL. He holds 6 Doctor Honoris Causa Degrees. In 1990 he was granted the title of Baron by Baudouin of Belgium.
- 1987: Rank Prize for Nutrition (UK)
- 1988: IBM Europe Science and Technology Prize (France)
- 1990: Gran Prix Charles-Leopold Mayer of the Academies de Sciences (Academy of Sciences France)
- 1990: Dr. A. de Leeuw-Damry-Bourlart Prize (five yearly Prize of the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research)
- 1998: Japan Prize for Biotechnology in Agriculture Sciences (Japan)
- 1999: Theodor Bücher Medal (FEBS).
- 2013: World Food Prize laureate.
- Van Larebeke, N.; Genetello, Ch.; Schell, J.; Schilperoort, RA; Hermans, AK; Van Montagu, M; Hernalsteens, JP (1975). "Acquisition of tumour-inducing ability by non-oncogenic agrobacteria as a result of plasmid transfer". Nature 255 (5511): 742–3. Bibcode:1975Natur.255..742V. doi:10.1038/255742a0. PMID 1134573.
- Vaeck, Mark; Reynaerts, Arlette; Höfte, Herman; Jansens, Stefan; De Beuckeleer, Marc; Dean, Caroline; Zabeau, Marc; Montagu, Marc Van; Leemans, Jan (1987). "Transgenic plants protected from insect attack". Nature 328 (6125): 33–7. Bibcode:1987Natur.328...33V. doi:10.1038/328033a0.
- Van Den Broeck, Guido; Timko, Michael P.; Kausch, Albert P.; Cashmore, Anthony R.; Van Montagu, Marc; Herrera-Estrella, Luis (1985). "Targeting of a foreign protein to chloroplasts by fusion to the transit peptide from the small subunit of ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase". Nature 313 (6001): 358–63. Bibcode:1985Natur.313..358V. doi:10.1038/313358a0. PMID 3969146.
- De Block, Marc; Herrera-Estrella, Luis; Van Montagu, Marc; Schell, Jeff; Zambryski, P (1984). "Expression of foreign genes in regenerated plants and in their progeny". The EMBO journal 3 (8): 1681–9. PMC 557582. PMID 16453538.
- Herrera-Estrella, Luis; Depicker, Ann; Van Montagu, Marc; Schell, Jeff (1983). "Expression of chimaeric genes transferred into plant cells using a Ti-plasmid-derived vector". Nature 303 (5914): 209–13. Bibcode:1983Natur.303..209H. doi:10.1038/303209a0.
Notes and references
- Floyd Poruban, MS Thesis,The Ohio State University, 1964
- Van Montagu, Marc (2011). "It is a Long Way to GM Agriculture". Annual Review of Plant Biology 62: 1–23. doi:10.1146/annurev-arplant-042110-103906. PMID 21314429.
- Press Release: World Food Prize honors biotech pioneers, World Food Prize, 18 June 2013.
- (French) Catherine Morand, "Le prix mondial de l'alimentation à Monsanto et Syngenta ? Une farce", www.letemps.ch, 16 October 2013 (page visited on 16 October 2013).
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