May 18, 2011
Rosetta Green Ltd. ("Company") (TASE:RSTG), which develops improved crop traits for the agriculture and alternative fuel industries using unique genes called microRNAs, announced the discovery of new corn plant microRNA sequences that were identified through using its improved proprietary technology platform.
The Company has identified dozens of unique genes that may contribute to improved tolerance to environmental stress, including resistance to salinity and temperature; as well as increased fertilizer use efficiency. This follows the discovery and validation of unique genes related to resistance to drought stress. The Company has already validated a number of these genes by an experiment that demonstrated significantly improved tolerance and survival of plants subjected to drought stress, compared to the control group.
The Company continues to work on the discovery of additional microRNA sequences and the validation of their specific roles in other key processes in corn plants.
These unique microRNA genes will likely have significant commercial value since corn is one of the most common crops in the world, with its seeds being used for both human and animal consumption, as well as for production of alternative fuels (bio-ethanol). About half of global production of corn comes from the United States and other prominent countries including Japan, China, India, Brazil, Mexico and France.
Dr. Rudy Maor, Rosetta Green's CTO said, "We believe that microRNA genes have a substantial advantage in the ability to improve various traits in plants, such as resistance to drought and disease. Rosetta Green is at the forefront of technology in this field. Agriculture around the globe faces unprecedented challenges due to increased world population and rising standards of living, resulting in accelerating demand for food, fuel and fiber, as well as surging prices. Plants with improved traits can address some of these challenges".
The market for agricultural biotechnology traits is growing. Seed producers and farmers are looking for advanced biotechnology solutions to enable them to achieve high yields while reducing costs. In addition, there is a growing need for solutions in areas where water is limited.
The global bio-ethanol market is now estimated at approximately 80 billion liters, or about $25 billion. The market is expected to grow at an increasing rate in coming years due to the global shift from oil-based energy to alternative sources.