Agricultural microbial resources: private property or global commons?

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Agricultural microbes have become an attractive target for patenting, but the lack of a consistent global patent regime and increasingly heated debates over microbial ownership rights are barriers to the development of this resource.

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Figure 1: Distribution framework for crop and microbial resources.

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Acknowledgements

We thank D. Sharma for manuscript comments. D.K. received a research grant from the University of Delhi and E.T.K. is funded by a Vidi and a Meervoud grant from the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO).

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Correspondence to E Toby Kiers.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Kothamasi, D., Spurlock, M. & Kiers, E. Agricultural microbial resources: private property or global commons?. Nat Biotechnol 29, 1091–1093 (2011) doi:10.1038/nbt.2056

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