Genetic Engineering Companies

This is a short list of some of the commonly known private companies that are developing genetically engineered crops. It is not an exhaustive list of all companies, but it should help you get familiar with some of them. Also, genetic engineering in agriculture is not exclusively done by private companies – many public organizations and nonprofits are also developing the technology.

The Big Six

These six companies are the major players in agricultural genetic engineering in the private sector. Many of them have extensive plant breeding operations across the world, and then add transgenic traits to the varieties they breed.

Other Companies

There are a lot more companies working on genetic engineering than just the Big Six. Many of them study individual traits, and if successful in their research, may license their technology to larger companies that can incorporate it into their crops. Some are developing their own varieties and breeds and seeking regulatory approval.

United States

  • Aqua Bounty is based in Waltham, Massachusetts. They develop improved fish for aquaculture, and are close to obtaining approval for the first biotech animal for food production: fast growing salmon.
  • ArborGen LLC is based in Summerville, South Carolina. They study the genetics of trees, from wood quality to restoring endangered tree species such as the American Chestnut.
  • Arcadia Biosciences is based in Davis, California. They develop nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) for crops, as well as salt tolerance, and works on the healthful composition of foods.
  • Exelixis is based in South San Francisco, California.
  • Mendel Biotechnology is based in Hayward, California. They have developed a yield-increasing trait in soybeans using genetic engineering.
  • Targeted Growth, Inc. is based in Seattle, Washington.

Australia

  • Florigene Pty Ltd, based in Victoria, is a subsidiary of Suntory Group in Tokyo, Japan. Their research focuses on introducing new colors into ornamental flowers and have produced the world’s first purple carnations and the first true blue rose.

Canada

  • Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. is based in Summerland, British Columbia. They work on tree-fruit traits, and are currently pursuing deregulation of their non-browing apple.
  • Performance Plants, Inc. is based in Kingston, Ontario. They conduct research on abiotic stress and yield, and biofuel-related traits.
  • SemBioSys is based in Calgary, Alberta. They work on pharmaceutical traits and are developing GLA-rich safflower oil.

India

Israel

  • Evogene is based in Rehovot.
  • Protalix is based in Carmiel. They conduct research on producing therapeutical proteins in plant cells.

The Netherlands

  • Genetwister Technologies B.V. is based in Wageningen. They use functional genomics and expression profiling to discover important genes in plants.
  • KeyGene is based in Wageningen. Founded by several large Netherlands seed companies, it is a cooperative research group that conducts genomic research on plant genetics. One of the crops they work on is aphid-resistant lettuce. They also have a US office in Maryland.

South Africa

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Do you know a company that we can add to the list? Has the status of any of these companies changed?

Please let us know in the Forum. Thank you for helping us compile this list!

16 comments on “Genetic Engineering Companies
  1. Thanks for starting this list! I’ll be sure to add any companies that I come across. Perhaps we can also add on specific products that each company has either in development or on the market as well – it would be interesting to track if certain companies are more likely to work on bioremidiation or nutrition traits, for example.

  2. James says:

    I think Ceres has, or continues to do, work with genetic engineering, though it looks like a lot of there work has switched over to conventional breeding. Anyone else know more? Their website is ceres.net (using a .com sends you to a beer company instead)

  3. MaryM says:

    Just spotted this one I didn’t know about before: Biolex Therapeutics. Reportedly a small aquatic plant according to the article I found it in:

    http://www.genengnews.com/specialreports/sritem.aspx?oid=68943994

    Biolex is http://www.biolex.com/

  4. MaryM says:

    D’oh–I knew this one before, totally spaced: Ventria. http://www.ventria.com/

    They have a rice plant that makes human milk proteins that can treat diarrhea in children.

  5. MaryM says:

    Looking around at license applications, also found:

    ORF Genetics in Iceland: http://gmoinfo.jrc.ec.europa.eu/gmp_report.aspx?CurNot=B/IS/09/01 In-field production of transgenic barley. http://www.orfgenetics.com/

    BSES Limited in Australia: http://www.bses.org.au/bses_01_home.asp?page_id=0 Saw an application for transgenic sugarcane. http://www.ogtr.gov.au/internet/ogtr/publishing.nsf/Content/dir096 DIR 096 – Limited and controlled release of sugarcane genetically modified for herbicide tolerance

  6. Mary says:

    Just came across this company from an NSF tweet: http://twitter.com/NSF/statuses/12462604487

    AgriHouse http://www.agrihouse.com/

    Kind of a plant technology company, but not what you might think at first. Their leaf sensor saved 25% more water with appropriate watering. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VM4X_fqPPco

    Although I’m not entirely sure I understand what they do otherwise. Not clear to me if they create bio-pharms or supporting stuff for that.

  7. MaryM says:

    Found these today: http://www.floragenex.com/ and http://www.biodiagnostics.net/

    Via: http://www.genomeweb.com//node/939185?hq_e=el&hq_m=695403&hq_l=3&hq_v=42b419f306

    “Plant genomics services company Floragenex will collaborate with BioDiagnostics, a plant seed testing firm, to combine their sequencing, high-throughput screening, and breeding technology offerings.”

  8. Jeniffer says:

    The list is quite comprehensive.
    A few more:
    -BSES limited
    -Origen Agritech

  9. A. C. Grace says:

    This company has GMO operations as well: Cargill.

  10. Jerry P. says:

    Don’t see Genentech – aren’t they one of the biggest?

    Jerry Pratz

  11. JT Cooper says:

    I am amazed that Monsanto is so heavy into agricultural genetic engineering, I always think of them as selling Astro Turf, but then I also think of 3M as selling scotch tape.

  12. Richard R says:

    DD is the symbol for dupont, the parent company of Pioneer. Publicly traded on the NYSE.

  13. geraud says:

    you forgot Limagrain, the fourth seed producer in the world. It has the particularity to be owned by farmers as a cooperative. Limagrain is a french company which owns AGreliant in the US and many others companies in the world. Its research entity BIOGEMMA is working on gmos.

    http://www.limagrain.com/index_gb.cfm

  14. Sebastian says:

    Hi there,

    thanks a lot for the list. I would like to do it the other way around: What do you know about the following companies? Do they do genetic engeneering or are involved in it? Other facts or hints are welcome as well.

    – Yara International
    – Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc
    – The Mosaic Company New
    – Ingredion Inc
    – Bunge Limited
    – Deere & Company
    – Titan International Group
    – GEA Group
    – Adecoagro
    – El Du Pont de Nemours & Company
    – GrainCorp
    – Viterra

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