Arcadia Biosciences is a global leader in designing crops to meet the needs of a hungry population in a resource restricted world. Our innovations bring new value to formerly commoditized crops through functional nutritional benefits like added fiber, reduced allergens and increased yield.
We use three technology platforms to improve crops, maximize productivity and mitigate environmental stresses, matching our approach to consumer preferences within a market:
- TILLING: Arcadia researchers compile plant populations optimized for high allelic diversity, creating seed and DNA libraries. These libraries can be mined to find new crop varieties with valuable characteristics– like GoodWheat™ high amylose wheat.
- CRISPR-Cas9: Arcadia scientists use CRISPR gene editing like a zipper inside a crop’s DNA to knock-out or knock-down gene function, resulting in an improved variety.
- TRANSGENICS: Historically, scientists in Arcadia’s California labs have used transgenic techniques to transfer genetic materials into key crop species, conferring new crop characteristics – like HB4 soybeans marketed through our joint venture Verdeca in Argentina, which are made drought tolerant by the insertion of a gene and promoter from sunflower
Genetic Trait Variation By Design.
Genetic variation is naturally abundant in nature. Within large plant populations, a small number of plants contain desirable characteristics based on their unique genetic makeup. Finding those special plants and breeding them with desirable plant varieties can be a challenge and can take decades using traditional techniques.
To help speed this process we use TILLING, a non-transgenic (non-GMO) advanced screening technology developed at the Basic Sciences Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in 1999 and further refined by Arcadia researchers. Using TILLING, our plant development team can cut years off the "needle-in-a-haystack" process of identifying desirable genetic variation within plant populations. Once the desirable plants are identified, our team of traditional plant breeders work to breed identified plants with high-performing commercial varieties of a crop to produce a superior plant variety. With over 100 years combined experience and extensive crop libraries, Arcadia Biosciences is a leader in this approach to crop improvement.
Rapidly Enhancing Desirable Plant Characteristics.
To complement our use of TILLING, we’ve licensed CRISPR-Cas9 technology from the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. CRISPR-Cas9 is a powerful, non-GM technology that enables researchers to rapidly enhance desirable plant characteristics or eliminate undesirable characteristics. So, once we identify desirable genetic variation using TILLING, we employ CRISPR-Cas9 to precisely “edit” individual genes within a plant’s genome, saving years of product development time.