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A New Zealand company has identified and patented two gene based traits which can be used to transform plants to improve photosynthetic efficiency and carbon fixation. One gene transformation translates into a 20% yield increase in plant biomass, and both transformations in combination yield a 36% increase in relative oil content in seed crops. Field trials are due to begin in 2016.

Hollow silica-based microcapsule technology that can be used to deliver a range of small molecules for crop protection purposes. The microcapsules have small hair-like silica protrusions on their surface that have been shown to enhance retention on the leaf, and have enhanced UV stability. The vesicles can be customized to suit differing actives and are cheap to produce using known manufacturing techniques.

Company using genomic sequencing tools such as RNA finger-printing to identify combinations of microbes that synergistically affect plant phenotype. Cereal field trials on the company’s microbial combinations have shown effectiveness in manipulating phenotypes such as biomass production and salinity tolerance. Currently 70 additional field trials are underway in the US. This technology platform may offer agbio companies a novel method for plant phenotype manipulation.

This company has selectively bred a GMO-free cereal wholegrain that is rich in dietary fibre (2x) and resistant starch (4x). Human studies indicate improved glycaemic control compared to currently used wholegrains. Trials show that the grain can be successfully grown in several regions (North America, Europe, AsiaPac), with more growing trials underway. Potential opportunity to license to grow and sell product for use as a high value food ingredient.

Researchers have developed an autonomous ground robot designed for use in broad-acre crops. The robot is currently being developed for weed control, fruit and flower counting with trials to date being done largely on fruiting trees and vegetables. With multiple use applications this technology offers a broad range of development options.

This company has developed a patented plant derived insecticide for use in crop protection. Trial data on cotton is available with further research underway in other crop species. The material has been shown to be safe for bees and is known to act as as a deterrent, with some evidence of direct mortality. Possible opportunity to develop as a natural benign insecticide product.

The company has developed a new approach for precision irrigation where in real time moisture measurement is linked directly to a variable rate irrigation systems.

This company has patented chemical compounds that could be further developed as crop protection agents. The class of compounds exhibit both ovicidal (egg killing) and insecticidal (insect killing) effects; most chemical compounds are purely insecticidal.

The company is commercialising a genetically modified safflower cultivar that produces oil (derived from its seed) with super high concentrations of oleic acid and very low levels of undesirable polyunsaturates. This makes the oil superior as an industrial lubricant feedstock as well as being a more sustainable source of such oils.