Rosetta Green, an Israel-based agro-tech company specializing in the development and improvement of crop genes, has joined forced with international seed manufacturer Bayer CropScience AG, to improve cotton yields for farmers.
According to a company press release, Rosetta Green's technology "is based on the development of microRNA genes, which play important roles regulating key traits in plants."
The company new innovation may help deal with longtime concerns of dwindling crops, caused partially due to the reduced effectives of pesticides.
According to Israel Innovation News, in the 1990s, researchers discovered that miRNA acts as a "master genome regulator" in plants and mammals. Rosetta Green's scientists have been able to manipulate miRNA thus creating a more resistant strains of cotton, corn, soybeans, and other crops.
The importance lent to the discovery goes beyond its effects to the crops themselves: Since cotton is not considered a food, stronger pesticides can be used to treat it, but those chemicals carry harmful environmental effects.
Rosetta Green and Bayer believe their collaboration – to develop new cotton varieties that could produce better yields under difficult environmental conditions – could cross various agricultural milestones and help propel the cotton farming industry further,
Bayer has also pledged to pay Rosetta Green for any development that can be commercialized, as well as royalties on future revenues from sales. Those royalties could amount to tens of millions of dollars, the company added.
Rosetta Green's CEO Amir Avniel said that, "We believe that microRNA genes have great potential in the agriculture industry and in crop improvement, and are hopeful that the new technology that Bayer and Rosetta Green will develop will succeed in significantly increasing cotton yields.
"Such developments could significantly increase the areas where crops can be grown and gradually grow more and more crops in arid areas with limited water availability or access to brackish water only," he added.