The inauguration of KingAgroot Innovation Center for new herbicide compound creation, crop genome-editing and chemical software development
Jan. 15, 2021
Research and Development （R & D） is the engine of KingAgroot's growth, who is a China's innovative company in agrochemical industry. With the intensification new chemical compound creation and screening, and the accelerated development of crop genome editing , higher standard R & D facilities at KingAgroot are required. The construction of the Kingagroot Innovation Center was officially completed and was put into service on New Year’s Day, 2021, after two years of preparations and more than a year of intensive construction. The center is located at the Sino-German Ecopark, Huangdao District, Qingdao, with the total investment exceeded 400 million RMB Yuan. The official opening of the innovation center was not just an important milestone in the history of KingAgroot, but also a major event in the whole agrochemical industry. KingAgroot uses this headquarter to accelerate research and development of novel chemical herbicides and high-quality trait crops for global applications.
KingAgroot Innovation Center consists of three main buildings, Science Building, Truth-Seeking Building and Exploration Building. It covers an area of 100 Mu (6.6 hectares) with a total floor area of 64,000m2, including a 10,000m2 intelligent greenhouse, which can accommodate more than 1,000 R & D personnel.
Bird-eye-view of the KingAgroot Innovation Center
Entrance of the Kingagroot Innovation Center
Grand hall of the Science Building
Intellectual Greenhouse (10,000M2)
Academic Meeting Hall
KingAgrootowns three global leading R & D platforms:
1.Herbicidal Compound Innovation Platform
KingAgroot has built a complete and comprehensive R&D pipeline that consists of the teams for design and synthesis of compounds, weeds bioassay and herbicide-resistance monitoring, formulation development, and a high-standard GLP laboratory for regulatory studies of metabolism of carbon-14 labelled herbicidal chemicals in selected representative animals, plants and environment. After 10 years of efforts, the company has successfully developed and commercialized four globally patented herbicides - cypyrafluone, bipyrazone, fenpyrazone and tripyrasulfone. In the next few years, other six new patented compounds are expected to be introduced to market, including Fucaoding (KAI-161452), Fulvancaozhi (KAI-141012), Fufengcaoan (KAI-151162) and Lvfumidingzhi (KAI-153915). By then, KingAgroot could become the company with the most valid patented herbicides on sale in the world.
2.Crop Genome-editing Platform
Seed is the “chip” of agriculture and the basis of crop quality and yield. Seed industry has experienced three technology revolutions – hybrid vigor, transgenic and genome edited crop breeding. Hybrid maize has enabled Pioneer (now part of Corteva) and hybrid rice has also enabled Longping High Tech companies. Glyphosate-resistant maize and soybean, the landmark achievement of transgenic crop breeding technology, have made Monsanto (acquired by Bayer) the No.1 seed company in the world in a short period of time. CRISPR/Cas9 mediated genome editing technology emerged in 2012, which is regarded as the beginning of the third crop breeding revolution. KingAgroot expected to utilize our own patented herbicide compounds as a “SPEAR” and the herbicide-resistant seeds as a crop protection “SHIELD”, to solve global crop field weed problems more comprehensively. We develop herbicide-resistance crops stacked with disease and/or insect resistance, high quality and yield traits and we are determined to re-shape agriculture in 21st century through herbicide and seed innovation,
3.Chemical Software Information Platform
KingDraw is a chemical compound design software developed by KingAgroot’s IT team. It is the world's first chemical compound structure editor app, which can be used at either mobile phone, tablet, PC and cloud service. KingDraw’s first version was publically released at the end of 2018. To date, more versions has been lunched and more than 600,000 users in 153 countries around the world have been using them. The database contains 150 million pieces of chemical information. In the near future, KingDraw will continue to integrate the functions of ELN, SciFinder, synthetic route-oriented artificial intelligence prediction, etc. to accelerate chemical R&D and thus improve the R & D efficiency of global drug and material innovation.
KingAgroot’s continuous R & D investment has produced fruitful results. By December 2020, KingAgroot has filed 175 invention patents in China and 48 of them have been granted KingAgroot has also filed 109 PCT international invention patents, of which accumulatively 475 pieces/times of patents have accessed via PCT and Paris Convention into the Europe, the United States, Japan, India, Canada, Australia, Russia and other countries and regions, and 125 of them have been granted.
Founded in 2009, KingAgroot is a biotechnology innovation company with new herbicidal compound development and crop genome editing as its major business. During 2018-2020, four new compounds, cypyrafluone, bipyrazone, fenpyrazone and tripyrasulfone, innovated by KingAgroot successfully obtained the registration from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs for commercialization, which positively impacted the industry.
Cypyrafluone and bipyrazone is used to control ALS/ACCase inhibiting herbicides-resistant broadleaf weeds and grassy weeds in wheat field; tripyrasulfone is used in paddy rice for control of herbicide-resistant barnyard grass (Echinochloa crusgalli) and Chinese sprangletop (Leptochloa chinensis); fenpyrazone is a powerful killer of resistant broadleaf weeds in corn. Among the above, cypyrafluone has been included in a key research program under China’s 13th-Five-Year Plan. It is worth noted that these four high level new compounds targeting to protect the world’s staple food crops, e.g., rice, wheat and corn, are very helpful in solving the most difficult and fundamental weed problems, making KingAgroot one of the first-tier players in the global agrochemical industry.
In the years ahead, KingAgroot will continue to launch blockbuster new compounds, for example, fufengcaoan (KAI-151162), lvfumidingzhi (KAI-153915), fulvancaozhi (KAI-141012) and fucaoding (KAI-161452). KingAgroot will also release its gene edited crops that are combined with the new herbicidal compounds to contribute to the elimination of global hunger.
The inauguration of KingAgroot Innovation Center marked a new beginning and a new chapter for the development of KingAgroot. This center will become a driving engine for the global herbicide and biotechnological crop breeding innovation and lay a solid foundation for KingAgroot to realize its mission of “asking science for life and eliminating global hunger.”
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