Seed World

Evogene Receives Grant to Develop Oilseed Crops with High CO2 Assimilation

Evogene’s Ag-Seed Division received the EU Horizon grant of €1.2 million euros to support the creation of oilseed crops with high carbon dioxide assimilation and enhanced drought tolerance, according to a release. Evogene will be part of a project working together with different researchers across the EU looking to address climate challenges and develop resilient and environmentally sustainable crops.

The project, called Crop4Clima, has a budget of €2.5 million euros and is expected to be executed over 32 months. In addition, the program’s goal is to develop crops — first with a focus on rapeseed and canola — with the ability to assimilate 60% more carbon dioxide while requiring 20% less water intake when compared to other crops grown under standard ag practices. Ultimately, the project aims to support more sustainability goals to reduce global warming with higher carbon dioxide intake. Finally, the crops are expected to have a better and improved biomass yield per hectare, while the plant maintains a high oil content, which could prove to have high commercial value for the food, feed and sustainable energy industry.

The €1.2 million euro grant awarded to Evogene will cover Evogene’s estimated costs to participate in the Crop4Clima program, which will leverage Evogene’s innovative synthetic biology technologies while integrating multidisciplinary skills in computational biology, chemistry, microbiology and plant physiology.

“We are proud to lead the development of these oil-seed crops with unique characteristics, supporting sustainability goals,” says Eyal Ronen, executive vice president of business development of Evogene. “The proof of concept is further validated by our consortium winning the prestigious European Horizon grant, whose goal is sustainable agriculture. We are also excited to work in this consortium with the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, a global scientific leader in environmental and synthetic biology. This win reflects our expertise in synthetic and computational biology, and our ability to develop innovative new products.”