Lab Product News

Investment to boost development of high-value traits in crops

Saskatoon, SK — February 17, 2003 — Ag-West Biotech has invested $200,000 over two years to help Agrisoma Biosciences establish a presence in Saskatchewan. A spin-off of Burnaby, BC-based Chromos Molecular Systems, Agrisoma Biosciences is developing a chromosome-based gene transfer technology.

Agrisoma’s research goal is to enable high-value traits in crops, such as grains with enhanced nutrition, and the production of proteins in plant-based systems. The biotech company says its technology overcomes a limitation of conventional gene transfer technologies — the restricted capacity to transfer large amounts of DNA, an important feature enabling crops to express multiple traits or large complex genes.

"The addition of Agrisoma to the Saskatchewan ag-biotech cluster brings a new approach to the introduction of multiple genetic traits into plants," says Peter McCann, president of Ag-West Biotech. "These plants will in future be used for the production of bio-pharmaceuticals or industrial protein-based products such as enzymes for detergents and improving the efficiency of plant-breeding by allowing the transfer of multiple genes in a single transformation.