Squash [Cucurbita pepo L.] is an important specialty crop native of North America. The cultivated, edible forms of Cucurbita are a common crop in many major agriculture production areas and represented a world production of 22,900,826 tonnes in 2019 (derived from data supplied by the Food and Agriculture Organization). The United States production alone was worth up to 220 million of US dollars in 2019 (USDA Vegetables 2019 Summary).

Pseudoperonospora cubensis (P. cubensis) isan obligate biotrophic agent responsible for the downy mildew disease. Downy mildew is known to devastate various Cucurbitaceae crop plants including, but not limited to cucumber, squash, melon and watermelon.

The present invention addresses the need for an improved resistance to downy mildew by providing novel squash plants comprising an increased downy mildew resistance trait. By identifying one QTL associated with increased downy mildew resistance in a breeding population and by introgressing its corresponding sequence into elite squash plants, the downy mildew resistance capability of the squash plant was increased, which has a positive impact on overall plant performance. The downy mildew resistance QTL and its corresponding introgressed sequence, located on chromosome 9 (QTL9), is of semidominant nature, hence one copy of the sequence is sufficient to provide an improved downy mildew resistance phenotype.




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US 11,384,362

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Molecular markers describing the QTL locus are described in the patent.

As Syngenta continuously produces new materials and increases its know-how on this native trait, we can offer a licensee additional know-how and material related to this native trait further to the patent license through Traitability. For example molecular markers and related know-how on this resistance trait. This can be important for licensees that intend to use the trait in their commercial variety production. Furthermore, early access to Syngenta material containing the trait can help in getting this trait earlier in your varieties.

Financial terms

Based on FRAND license terms Syngenta asks a royalty on net sales for the use of this resistance locus in your commercial varieties.

An example of a standard license agreement is available for your review: 

You can review an example of a standard license agreement by clicking on the link: Standard License Agreement

Access to trait know-how and molecular markers to increase the efficiency with which the trait can be introduced into the market will be negotiated as a lump-sum fee or an additional royalty rate.