News Column

Biotech firm opens headquarters, laboratories in Davis

August 28, 2014

By Mark Glover, The Sacramento Bee



Aug. 28--BioConsortia Inc., an agricultural biotechnology startup, has opened its new company headquarters and research/development laboratories in Davis.

Along with corporate offices, BioConsortia's 5,700-square-foot facilities at 1940 Research Park Drive (just northeast of Interstate 80 and Richards Boulevard) include microbiology and molecular biology labs, growth chambers and resources for genomic analysis.

The Davis company has developed a proprietary system that uses advanced microbial selection and the latest genomic techniques to define products for specific crop improvement traits. It relies on what is known as microbial consortia, which are elements of natural communities of bacteria and fungi.

BioConsortia, which was founded earlier this year, says its system quickly identifies the best microbial communities that can improve plant traits and increase crop yield. The system is touted as an alternative to mixing individually identified microbes and does not rely on genetic modification. The company says the system rapidly identifies the right consortia and can apply to both conventional and genetically modified crops.

BioConsortia has drawn the interest of two Bay Area venture capital firms, Menlo Park-based Khosla Ventures and Palo Alto-based Otter Capital LLC, which earlier this year partnered to steer $15 million in funding to the Davis firm.

BioConsortia was established to further develop and commercialize the microbial consortia of BioDiscovery New Zealand Ltd., which was founded in 1994 and is now a BioConsortia subsidiary, which will continue to conduct research at its facilities in Auckland. BioDiscovery previously worked with national and international agriculture entities, including Monsanto Co. and AgraQuest.

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(c)2014 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)

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Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)


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