Dr. Boonyanath Nathwong, BIOTEC researcher, revealed the launch of locally made 100 basepair and 1 kilobase standard DNA molecular weight markers. The standard DNA molecular weight marker is an essential tool for all kinds of work involving DNA analysis by electrophoresis technique.
The idea to produce the 2 ranges of standard DNA molecular weight markers was actually originated from a research project related to rice tungro bacilliform virus – Chainat isolate (RTBVCN). Dr. Boonyanath had planed to mutate the viral coat protein gene to study effect on the viral replication. To pursue the research, the whole RTBVCN genome was then extracted, sequenced, and thoroughly analyzed. The result had not only led to understand the orientation of putative genes in the viral genome, but also revealed several advantageous characteristics of the genome to use as raw material in the development of standard DNA molecular weight marker. The research strategy for development of standard DNA molecular weight marker was then carefully drawn. Following the completion of the strategic plan, Dr. Boonyanath welcomed a M.Sc. scholar from Center for Agricultural Biotechnology, Kasetsart University Kampaengsaen Campus, Suparat Pinsupa, to join the project and supervised her thesis. After two years, Dr. Boonyanath and Suparat succeeded in construction the prototype recombinant plasmids for producing 100 basepair and 1 kilobasepair standard. In 2003, the two inventors filed patents protecting the idea and methodology of development of the prototype recombinant plasmids. In the following year, a system for commercial scale production of the standard DNA molecular weight markers from the prototype clones was another success. And in late 2005, BIOTEC agreed to transfer the technology for production of the two ranges standard DNA molecular weight markers to private sector, BioExcellence Co. Ltd.
Today, BioExcellence has marketed the local made standard DNA molecular weight markers for 6 months with good response from various users. Obviously, this is genuinely good news. Still the inventors have strong intention to use this technology to curve a previous importation of the products at an estimated value of 20 million baht a year. Less expensive standard DNA markers should assist in making available and affordable DNA markers for schools and universities to use as practical training. This in turn will help to promote human resource in science and technology.