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  • Condensed by Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Unconventional Ag Media

Calyxt Leveraging Synthetic Biology to Develop Next-Gen Soybean as Alternative to Palm Oil

At this point we are all familiar with the negative socio-environmental impacts of palm oil cultivation, sourcing, and production. Looking for solutions, agtech startup Calyxt is leveraging plant-based synthetic biology to develop an “improved soybean” capable of making an edible oil suitable as a commercial alternative to palm oil.

Calyxt’s technology platform, PlantSpring, is the culmination of more than a decade of research in engineering plant metabolism. It leverages AI and machine learning capabilities to identify breakthrough plant compounds. The platform then designs strategies to reprogram host cells and engineers plant cell metabolism for the desired plant chemistries, which are then produced at laboratory scale. Integrating with the company’s bioreactor-based production system, or “BioFactory”, Calyxt is able to achieve the controlled replication of plant-based molecules to make compounds from a matrix of plant cells.

The company stated it has now completed the first phase of its “improved soybean” research project, has begun the second phase, and is expected to complete the final phase in Q1 2024.


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