Seed World

Inari Broadens Plant Breeding Toolkit Through Exclusive Agreement with Cold Spring Harbor Lab

Inari continues to expand its capabilities with exclusive patent licenses to technologies developed at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL).

The technology, Promoter Fine Tuning, helps Inari researchers influence plant architecture and other agricultural traits by managing the extent to which specific existing genes are expressed. This approach — already proven in the field — will initially be used to increase yields and reduce the amount of land required to grow more food.

Zachary Lippman, the CSHL professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator whose team developed the technologies, is a leading expert in plant genetics and a member of Inari’s Scientific Strategy Board. With this work, his team has transferred important agricultural research out of the lab and into the field, demonstrating the impact new technologies can have on food crops.

“By licensing these advances to Inari, CSHL is able to take our science and technology to the next level, applying it to products that positively impact the world’s food production and reduce pressure on natural resources,” says Andrew Whiteley, vice president of Business Development and Technology Transfer.

The CSHL licenses complement technology related to plant epigenetics that Inari recently licensed exclusively from the University of California, Los Angeles. Overall, the agreements expand Inari’s toolbox and strengthen its product development process, known as the Seed Foundry. The company is rapidly developing crops — including corn, soy, wheat and tomato — which will address challenges such as productivity, as well as water- and nitrogen-use efficiency.

“The technologies that we have licensed from CSHL are important in the work we do to address not only the needs of growers, but those of the planet as well,” says Ponsi Trivisvavet, CEO of Inari. “They enhance our ability to rapidly reintroduce and enhance nature’s genetic diversity and provide ways to increase yields, save water and reduce agriculture’s pressure on our land and climate.”