Bacteria Designed to Prevent Plant Frost to Be Tested

Associated Press

A second test of a genetically altered bacteria designed to prevent frost damage to crops has been scheduled for today.

The test in a one-acre Brentwood strawberry field about 50 miles east of San Francisco was canceled earlier this month when vandals opposed to the research poured 250 pounds of salt over the plants.

Advanced Genetic Sciences, an Oakland biotechnology company, tested the bacteria, which it calls Frostban, at the same site in April, although vandals cut their way through a fence and uprooted many of the plants.

AGS produced the strains of bacteria, pseudomonas synringae and pseudomonas fluorescence, in searching for a product that will keep plant leaves from freezing in cold, wet weather.

Frost causes an estimated $1.6 billion in damage every year to American crops.

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