New Product: Benson Hill Gene Editing System

Agribody Technologies will employ Benson Hill Biosystems’ novel gene editing system to express gene targets validated to increase yield, stress tolera

Published online: Aug 22, 2018 Articles, New Products
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Benson Hill Biosystems, a crop improvement company unlocking the natural genetic diversity of plants, and Agribody Technologies, Inc., an emerging agricultural biotechnology company, are partnering to deliver non-GMO yield and sustainability traits for seed companies working in potatoes, sugarbeets, corn, soy, alfalfa, cotton, canola, peanuts, beans, rice, sorghum, wheat and flowers.

Agribody has identified and validated a portfolio of highly conserved genes with broad application in multiple crops, including the regulation of two genes (elF-5A and DHS) that significantly improve plant productivity and sustainability. These stable genetic components deliver increased biomass and seed yields, delayed spoilage for increased shelf life, and enhanced tolerance to diseases and abiotic stresses such as drought, heat, cold, salt, low nutrients and crowding. Agribody will employ Benson Hill’s novel gene editing system to unlock these genetic components and provide co-development opportunities for companies working in multiple row and specialty crops.

“We have gained deep understanding and validation of these genes through multiple years of laboratory, greenhouse and field trials,” says Jerry Feitelson, CEO and co-founder of Agribody Technologies. “We have been very impressed with Benson Hill’s commitment to democratizing genome editing methods and their excellent reputation with seed companies. Our collaboration enables companies working on both large- and smaller-acre crops to leverage these genes already present in the crop for both farmer and consumer benefit.”

Benson Hill empowers organizations of any size to access the most advanced tools in seed innovation, accelerating their research and development programs without major infrastructure costs or distraction from their core business. The Edit system combines the analytical power of Benson Hill’s CropOS computational platform with a robust portfolio of novel genome editing nucleases. Partners can leverage the natural genetic diversity of plants and optimize flavor profiles, nutrient density and environmental sustainability with greater speed and precision than previously possible, improving the cost and timeline of product development.

“Reducing food waste, improving resource use efficiency and increasing resilience to climate change are some of the most urgent challenges in our food system,” says Matt Crisp, CEO and co-founder of Benson Hill Biosystems. “Agribody Technologies has demonstrated the power of harnessing the natural genetic diversity that exists within plants to address these needs, a goal that aligns squarely with our mission. We look forward to making these benefits readily accessible to crop innovators.”