piggyBac availability

Malcolm Fraser fraser.1 at nd.edu
Sun Mar 3 13:11:44 EST 2002

Dear Colleagues,

I'd just like to clear the air on the availability of piggyBac and the
licensing issue that seems to have negatively impinged on it's general
use as a tool for Drosophila transgenesis.

piggyBac is a highly useful transposable element for transgenic
applications in Drosophila melanogaster. The element has been patented
jointly by The University of Notre Dame, U.S. Department of Agriculture,
and the University of Florida.  The University of Notre Dame manages the
licensing of piggyBac for commercial interests. All licenses are
non-exclusive due to the part ownership by a government agency.

piggyBac is freely available to academic researchers, and may be readily
obtained from our lab with the signing of a standard Material Data
Transfer agreement. Constructs available in the lab for dissemination
include the p3E1.2 full length piggyBac clone, a pCaSpeR-hs-pBac-orf
helper, and any other constructs that we have or will continue to
generate. For those interested in obtaining the element, my e-mail
address is fraser.1 at nd.edu.

Additional sources for useful piggyBac constructs include Ernst Wimmer
and Al Handler, and you should contact them for their derivatives.

As for strains or constructs generated by any commercial licensee, my
understanding is that those are controlled by the licensee. The
University of Notre Dame simply stipulates that if such strains or
constructs are released for general use, a statement indicating that
commercial use of the strains or vectors does require a license
agreement with The University of Notre Dame. Such notifications are
quite common, and can easily be found among numerous vectors that are
available commercially.

In short, The University of Notre Dame does not advocate the restriction
of piggyBac for non-commercial uses. I have taken great pains to insure
that our Technology Transfer Office is not restrictive in the
development of piggyBac as a generalized vector for transgenesis, and I
must say they have been extremely compliant in this respect. If anyone
has encountered difficulties arising from our Technology Transfer
Office, I would like to hear of them so that I can clear them up

I hope that this removes any inhibitions that the Drosophila community
has in utilizing this tool, and that research with piggyBac will be
fruitful and unfettered.


Mac Fraser


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