Advanta, Arcadia BioSciences to develop salt-tolerant sorghum

Advanta, the world’s largest sorghum seed research and marketing company, has reached a research and commercial development agreement with Arcadia BioSciences for the development of Salt-Tolerant sorghum.

Under terms of the agreement, Advanta receives exclusive global rights to Arcadia’s Salt-Tolerance technology, which builds on the agreement the two companies struck in January for the development of Nitrogen Use Efficient (NUE) sorghum.

“Grown on more than 100 million acres worldwide, sorghum is a very important cereal grain crop. This Salt-Tolerance technology, together with the NUE technology, allows Advanta to expand the global reach and impact of sorghum,” says V.R. Kaundinya, Advanta CEO and Managing Director. “Many sorghum growing areas of the world, which are also growing in population, are challenged by soil salinity and scarce supplies of fresh water for irrigation. Increasing yields for food and feed in these environments is critical, which is why we are excited to be bringing these technologies into our large and diverse germplasm base and breeding program.”

Arcadia’s Salt-Tolerance technology allows plants to produce normal yields and grain quality under salty water and soil conditions. This expands the range of lands available for crop production and reduces requirements for fresh water. The expected result will be high-yielding crops with a lower impact on the environment and an ability to grow on land currently not suitable for productive farming.

In addition, sweet sorghum has tremendous potential as a biofuels source. By combining technologies such as NUE and Salt Tolerance, Advanta and Arcadia anticipate development of a sweet sorghum biofuels crop that will be a highly efficient alternative fuel source. This can be done while reducing the environmental impact and requiring less fresh water. The result will be more favorable economics than any other biofuels source.

“Considering the global importance of sorghum as a food source and the increased interest in the crop as a source of renewable energy, it’s critical to use new agricultural technologies that maximize the crop’s potential and minimize its environmental impact,” says Eric Rey, president and CEO of Arcadia. “Development of Salt-Tolerant sorghum hybrids will help growers to farm more efficiently, more cost-effectively and in a way that’s better for our global environment.”

“This is a step toward fulfilling our promise to deliver the latest technologies to sorghum growers around the world,” said Kaundinya. “We believe in the future of sorghum in the world and are fully committed to bringing about a greater role for biotechnology in this crop. We are glad to be associated with Arcadia BioSciences in this effort.”

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