Synthetic Genomics In. and Plenus, S.A. de C.V. created a new company AgraCast Inc.

In February 1, 2013, Synthetic Genomics In. and Plenus, S.A. de C.V. created a new company AgraCast Inc. with the Agradis remaining assets not purchased by Monsanto, to 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.

Increasing world populations are leading to greater need for new and improved food crops. There is also an increased demand for new and improved, non-food biofuel feedstock crops. The challenge is how to meet these needs in an environmentally sustainable way. AgraCast will combine the cutting edge science and technology platforms of SGI with the agricultural business commercialization expertise of Plenus to solve some of these societal issues.

The two crops that AgraCast are concentrating on are castor and sweet sorghum:
· Castor seed oil is currently used in lubricants, cosmetics and biopolymers. Agradis will develop and sell superior hybrid castor seeds for these markets enabling higher yields, lower production costs, and increased security of supply. With these advances Agradis anticipates that castor could soon become an economically viable biofuel feedstock.
· Sweet sorghum is a member of the grass family that produces stems with high sucrose levels making it a competitive feedstock in the biofuels market. Sorghum’s high drought tolerance, short growth cycle, and more efficient use of nutrients and water make it an attractive potential feedstock for biofuel production. Agradis will also sell enhanced varieties of sweet sorghum for the biofuels markets.