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RNA-based products that are cost-effective for ag useqrcode

Dec. 30, 2022

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Dec. 30, 2022


By Robin Booker

Crop protection products built with RNA, a nucleic acid present in all living cells, have shown promise in both lab and field conditions.

But the high cost to produce RNA is a significant hurdle for this emerging technology.

That is why GreenLight Biosciences decided to focus its resources on developing a new RNA production process and facility in Rochester, New York, to help get new modes of action into farmers’ hands.

RNA is typically produced in batches too small and expensive for the volumes needed in agricultural applications. To get around this problem, several companies are trying to create RNA through fermentation.

This production method is hard to manage because it’s difficult to filter out impurities and maintain a high-quality end product at scale.

GreenLight Biosciences designed a process that takes leftover yeast from beer production and breaks it down with enzymes into the fundamental components of RNA.

The material is then energized, with an old style of water softener and phosphorus, and reassembled into pure RNA. Key components of the procedure are enzymes that were harvested near volcanic vents in the Arctic Ocean.

Researchers looked there because RNA is closely related to the beginning of life on Earth, and this environment is close to where life likely originated.

Catie Lee is the marketing director at GreenLight Biosciences. She said the new production process is housed at Rochester, in a former Eastman Kodak facility.

″We built a pilot plant there to kind of get us through our first year of operation. We have plans, when the time is right, to expand that footprint to be able to power the production for everything in our pipeline.″

GreenLight has already developed pesticides and fungicides that may see regulatory approval in the United States as soon as 2023.

Read more at https://www.producer.com/crops/rna-based-products-that-are-cost-effective-for-ag-use/


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