Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Monsanto and Sapphire Energy to collaborate on algal gene research

Monsanto is initiating a multi-year research collaboration with San Diego-based Sapphire Energy.

Sapphire specializes in genetically-engineering algae to produce replacements for gasoline, diesel, and other fuels.

The collaboration between Sapphire and Monsanto will focus on identifying genes that help algae grow faster and might also increase yields in crops like corn, cotton, and soybeans.

In a press release, Monsanto's chief technology officer, Robb Fraley, said Sapphire's expertise in algae research will help both companies to identify promising genes more quickly.

Under the agreement, Monsanto will buy a small share of Sapphire. Other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio


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