Technical

The Strategy

Virgin Plants is currently embarking on a collaborative research program at the Leibniz Institute at IPK Gatersleben to demonstrate the apomixis-inducing potential of APOLLO and UPGRADE in brassica napus, arabadopsis, and maize.

The cost of bringing a new trait to market is considerable, estimated to be $150,000,000. As a result, Virgin Plants is presently engaged in negotiations with several “strategics” to co-develop and co-invest alongside of our investment group as well as provide access to expertise and strategic technologies. The objective is to take advantage of their expertise, proprietary technology tools and resources to ensure our final technology product is aligned with their needs.

While the initial crops are maize and canola, the technology has potential wide spread application in all hybrid crops. Prospective target crops include rice, soy and cotton but the decision on “next crops” will be made in concert with strategic partners. Wheat is also in our sights.

 Current Investors

Linn Grove Ventures      Iowa Corn Promotion Board 

Middeland Capital          Cultivian Sandbox

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How It Works

Apomixis is the asexual reproduction of seed, or the ability for plants to clone themselves. Apomixis is a naturally-occurring phenomenon in many wild plants but is not present in major commercial crops.

Long considered the “holy grail” of plant breeding, apomixis has been an elusive target for plant scientists for decades. Dr. Tim Sharbel, an internationally recognized plant scientist working in this field, and his laboratory have together discovered a gene which is a strong candidate for inducing apomixis in plants – a gene known as APOLLO.

Virgin Plants is an emerging plant genetics company commercializing the APOLLO apomixis technology developed by Dr. Sharbel.

Our mandate is to bring this revolutionary discovery to the marketplace as a tool to revolutionize agriculture and better feed the world.

Publications

German Business Weekly
Nature Biotechnology Article



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