Monsanto Company announced it has purchased select assets of Agradis, Inc. Monsanto’s purchase includes the Agradis name and its collection of microbes that can improve crop productivity. Monsanto has also acquired the company’s R&D site in La Jolla, Calif.
Agradis was formed in 2011 by Synthetic Genomics Inc and Plenus. The assets of Agradis not purchased by Monsanto include castor and sweet sorghum breeding and genetic optimization technologies, as well as a novel product used to prevent fungal growth on fruits and vegetables. These assets will continue to be advanced by SGI and Plenus in a new company, AgraCast.
The announcement also includes an agricultural research agreement between Monsanto and SGI. The multi-year research collaboration will focus on the analysis of microbe-plant communities and screening for beneficial microorganisms that could be used to develop additional biological products to improve agricultural productivity. Monsanto has also made an equity investment in SGI. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.