INDEX

 

Innovation - AFINGEN® Technology's Concept

Trait No. 1: Fast Growth and More Biomass

Trait No. 2: Better Seed/Grain Yield

Trait No. 3: Better Root Development

Trait No. 4: Better Process-ability and Digestability

Towards Sustainable Agricultural System by AFINGEN® Enabled Traits

 

( ↓ Scroll down to see each topic! )

 

 

We are developing synthetic biology methods to improve crop yield and other beneficial agricultural traits. From a suite of synthetic biology tools, AFINGEN® Positive Feedback Loop (APFL) platform offers a robust path to improve commercially competitive crops with minimal cisgenic/intragenic manipulation and improved genetic stability compared to conventional bioengineering. By the selective amplification and/or reduction of target genes with unprecedented specificity and improved tolerance engineered crops (e.g. rice, corn, wheat, soybeans, canola, alfalfa, and sorghum) may offer higher yields of biomass, more cellulose, and less lignin with healthy and robust plant growth. The increased quantity of higher-quality feedstocks will provide more available nutrient substrates for better animal and human health.

 

Innovation

AFINGEN® Technology's Concept

 

© AFINGEN, Inc.; Astalake Biosystems, Inc.

 

Figure: Schematic representation of AFINGEN® technology concept, modulating master Transcription Factor (TF) expression amounts in Positive Feedback Loop manner. 1) Wild type (non-Genetic Engineering (GE)/Genetic Modification (GM)) keeps cell homeostasis, 2) Traditional methods that constitutively manipulate target metabolic pathways increase stress and lead to cell growth defect, and 3) AFINGEN® method optimizes target metabolic pathways by amplifying tissue-specific gene expression to preserve cell homeostasis.

 

Fast Growth and More Biomass

AFINGEN's Enabled Trait No. 1

 

AFINGEN’s bioengineered switchgrass plants regrow nearly twice as fast as the control during the regeneration process. Plants harboring Afingen’s strategies show a roughly 200% increase in average height and two to six times more tillers than the control plants. These amplified stem and leaves biomass yields are comparable to enhancing carbon dioxide capture in their photosynthesis.

 

 

© AFINGEN, Inc.; Astalake Biosystems, Inc.

 

Figure: A representative photograph of enhanced yield in switchgrass biomass engineered by AFINGEN® technology. The control line contains an empty vector and the engineered line contains AFINGEN technology construct: No. 018.  The statistical information on the yield and other yield-related traits etc was described in our patent application WO2019148193A1.

 

Better Seed/Grain Yield

AFINGEN's Enabled Trait No. 2

 

The switchgrass seeds were also harvested after being grown in a short season in a greenhouse environment and showed a roughly 100-200% increase in yields in comparison to the control.

 

© AFINGEN, Inc.; Astalake Biosystems, Inc.

 

Figure: Comparison of the amounts of mature seeds obtained from control and AFINGEN® switchgrass plants grown in a greenhouse. The six photographs represent total seeds collected from selected switchgrass event plots. Seeds from a total of approximately 30 plants from each plot of control and AFINGEN’s engineered switchgrass were compared.  - The statistical information on the enhanced seed yield traits and seed germination vigor etc was described in our patent application WO2019148193A1.

 

 

© AFINGEN, Inc.; Astalake Biosystems, Inc.

 

Figure: AFINGEN’s engineered canola grew nearly twice as fast as the control and leads to increase grain numbers and enhance its yield (A) A representative photograph of grain pods from the control plants marked as C1-2 on the left compared to the grain pods from the plants engineered by AFNGEN® construct No.004 shown the right as V1-3. (B) A representative photograph of the control plants on the left compared to the plants engineered by AFINGEN® construct No.004 shown the right.  - The statistical information on the yield and other yield-related traits etc was described in our patent application WO2019148193A1.

 

Better Root Development

AFINGEN's Enabled Trait No. 3

 

The enhanced root growths, which can facilitate cultivation in environments, were also observed in the engineered lines in a laboratory environment.

 

 

© AFINGEN, Inc.; Astalake Biosystems, Inc.

 

Figure: Increased vegetative tissue yields and roost growth in alfalfa plants (Medicago sativa) engineered by AFINGEN® technology. Left shows control lines No. 0-1 and No. 0-2 containing an empty vector, and right shows lines engineered with the AFINGEN® construct No. 14 and No. 15.  -  The statistical information on the yield and enhanced root trait was described in our patent application WO2019148193A1.

 

 

Better Process-ability and Digestability

AFINGEN's Enabled Trait No. 4

 

Reducing lignin content via genetic engineering or mutation has been a goal that can dramatically increase [1] the biomass quality for animal feeds, [2] the deconstruction rate after thermochemical-pretreatment for biorefinery fermentation, and [3] the bio-degradability by microbe to provide soil organic matters. Afingen generated healthy switchgrass plants that grew with more available saccharides (20% to 30% higher) and soluble aromatics (80-120% higher) releases, corresponding to 25% less lignin (but reduced only in selected internal fiber structures so that stalks and stems remain strong).

 

Towards Sustainable Agricultural System

by AFINGEN® Enabled Traits

© AFINGEN, Inc.; Astalake Biosystems, Inc.

AFINGEN® has demonstrated that a simple new biotechnology platform, robust plants to achieve rapid growth, a high yield of biomass, enhanced root growth, and reduced lignin in their cell walls. We are currently transferring the simple tissue-targeting overexpression technology to other food, feed, fiber, and fuel crops to offer three beneficial agricultural traits - faster root growth, more grains/biomass, and improved degradability for efficient nutrient recycling.  These traits could help U.S. farmers more than double their revenues.