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Synthetic Genomics Inc. and Plenus, S.A. de C.V. Form New Sustainable Agriculture Company, Agradis, Inc. to Develop and Commercialize Products Using Genomic Technologies
Date:10/24/2011

ing superior crops through advances in genomics and developing crop protection and plant growth enhancing products using beneficial, plant-associated microorganisms.

The first two crops that Agradis will concentrate on are castor and sweet sorghum. These are ideal candidates because they are high yielding crops that can be grown on land not currently used for food production and have great potential for yield improvement using genomic technologies. Agradis has licensed the extensive germplasm collections, breeding programs, and cultivars developed by the experts at Plenus, and genomics expertise from SGI.

Castor seed oil is currently used in lubricants, cosmetics and biopolymers. Agradis will develop and sell superior hybrid castor seeds for these markets enabling higher yields, lower production costs, and increased security of supply. With these advances Agradis anticipates that castor could soon become an economically viable biofuel feedstock.

Sweet sorghum is a member of the grass family that produces stems with high sucrose levels making it a competitive feedstock in the biofuels market. Sorghum's high drought tolerance, short growth cycle, and more efficient use of nutrients and water make it an attractive potential feedstock for biofuel production. Agradis will also sell enhanced varieties of sweet sorghum for the biofuels markets.

Building on the decades of microbial genomics expertise and advances in synthetic genomics technologies by SGI founders and scientists, Agradis will also develop microbial-based plant growth promoters and crop protection products. Initially the company will focus these efforts on the corn and wheat applications which represent multi-billion dollar markets worldwide.  

Biologically based crop protection and growth enhancing products offer many advantages to traditional chemical fertilizers and pesticides. They are much more environmentally friendly, offer improved ways for crops to utilize
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SOURCE Synthetic Genomics Inc.
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