Agro-Industrial Biotechnology

Bioceres’ agro-industrial biotechnology segment focuses on production of enzymes that have industrial application and/or microbial fermentation solutions for variety of industries.

The agro-industrial biotechnology segment is currently focusing on two technology platforms:

Molecular Farming Platform Bacillus Fermentation Solutions
Bioceres has developed a safflower-based molecular farming platform for industrial enzymes valued at <$5,000/kg.

  • Technology enables Bioceres to use harvested grains as an efficient method of storing enzymes prior to processing
  • Safflower crop in Argentina is already grown for industrial applications

Bioceres has developed a mechanized process to allow low-cost extraction and purification of targeted enzymes during wet milling of safflower grain.

  • SPC, Bioceres’ most advanced technology, is used for the production of bovine chymosin, an enzyme used in the manufacturing of cheese.
  • Currently producing and commercializing small amounts from Bioceres’ pilot facility and completing plans for development of first industrial-scale facility for 2016.
Bioceres utilizes genetically engineered B. subtilis strains for the conversion of low cost sources of organic carbon to higher value molecules or compounds.

  • Currently developing solutions for the production of biopolymers such as PHA/PHB, biodiesel and ectoine, a protective substance that helps organisms survive certain types of stress conditions
  • These solutions are produced from soybean glycerine

Fermentative feedstocks include soybean glycerine as well as other lipids and sugars.

The following table summarizes our current agro-industrial biotechnology pipeline of products in development.

Agro-industrial biotechnology pipeline of products in development

For industrial enzymes valued at $5 or less per gram, we have developed a safflower-based molecular farming platform. This safflower-based molecular farming platform consists of directing expression of an enzyme, specifically on the safflower grain. This method allows us to use the harvested grains as an efficient way of storing enzymes prior to just-in-time processing.

Development of the GM safflower used in our molecular farming applications follows the same R&D phases applicable for any other GM seed project. However, since the safflower crop in Argentina is contract grown for specific downstream industrial application, the advanced development and regulation phase is greatly simplified due to less demanding regulatory requirements as compared to other GM solutions.

A significant aspect of our molecular farming platform is the development of a mechanized process to allow for low cost extraction and purification of the targeted enzymes during wet milling of the safflower grain. Our most advanced molecular farming technology is SPC, a technology for the production of bovine chymosin, an enzyme used in the manufacturing of cheese. We are currently producing and commercializing small amounts of the enzyme from our pilot facility. We are additionally in the process of completing the plans for the development of our first industrial facility, as we intend to commence full commercialization of the technology by 2016.

SPCel and SPCel Max refer to the production of cellulases (SPCel) and ligninases (SPCel Max) derived from our enzyme bio-prospecting efforts using our safflower-based platform. These enzymes are required in high amounts and at very low costs (cents per gram) for the production of fermentable sugars from cellulosic raw materials. We are developing these products in collaboration with YPF, which seeks to further the production of second-generation bioethanol using these solutions.

Bacillus fermentation solutions refers to the use of genetically engineered Bacillus subtilis strains for the conversion of low cost sources of organic carbon to higher value molecules or compounds. We are currently developing solutions for the production of biopolymers such as PHA/PHB, biodiesel, and ectoine—a protective substance that helps organisms survive certain types of stress conditions—from soybean glycerin. We also use Bacillus fermentation solutions for cost-effective production of biological pest control agents.