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Yield10 Bioscience licenses U of Missouri technology that boosts oil in crops


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: May 15th, 2019

Agricultural company Yield10 Bioscience has licensed a technology from the University of Missouri (MU) that boosts oil content in crops.

The technology is a gene target called C3012 that may complement the activity of a gene related to Acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase), a key rate-limiting enzyme involved in oil production in crops. Yield10 had previously licensed technology related to that gene target, known as C3007, from MU in 2018.

“This additional license with the University of Missouri underscores our focus on gene targets in the ACCase complex to re-engineer oil biosynthesis pathways in crops,” says Oliver Peoples, president and CEO of Yield10 Bioscience. “We look forward to evaluating the new technology accessed under the license, which we have designated C3012, both on its own as well as in combination with C3007, where we believe its activity may by synergistic.”

Jay Thelen, professor of biochemistry at MU and head researcher behind the licensed technology, comments, “The ACCase protein complex is the gatekeeper for carbon flow into fatty acid biosynthesis. My lab is focused on identifying new components to this complex and leveraging these discoveries to push carbon flow through this bottleneck. The end goal is to engineer plants to produce more oil.”

Sam Bish, interim director and senior licensing and business development associate at the MU Technology Advancement Office, comments, “The discoveries made by Dr. Thelen and his team around the biochemistry of a key enzyme in a key fatty acid biosynthesis pathway in plants represents an innovative and significant advancement in boosting oil content and yield in crops. This additional license to Yield10 Bioscience further enables the company to assemble and deploy advanced technologies to increase the amount of oil harvested from plants, an important renewable source of hydrocarbons for food, energy and chemical feedstocks.”

Source: AP News

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