ICL, PlantArcBio develop bio-stimulant platform to improve crop yields

In early-stage canola field trials, the platform significantly increased seed weight per hectare for canola crops.

ICL (Tel Aviv, Israel) and PlantArcBio, Ltd., developed a bio-stimulant platform that uses RNA interference (RNAi) technology to improve crop yields while having minimal impact on the environment nor any genetic modification.

"The use of novel biostimulants based on RNAi technology helps promote sustainability by reducing the use of chemicals in agriculture," said Hadar Sutovsky, vice president of external innovation and general manager of ICL Planet, in a press release. "This aligns perfectly with ICL's long-term goal of creating impact and sustainable growth in the agriculture end-market, alongside ensuring food security."

In early-stage canola field trials, the platform significantly increased seed weight per hectare for canola crops. The companies are planning larger-scale field trials in 2022, which will include testing the new technology platform using both commercial sprayers and standard farming practices. Greenhouse trials for soybeans and rice are already in progress, with early results showing good potential. ICL and PlantArcBio are also applying for a joint patent on the application for multiple crops.

"The positive canola field trial results constitute another milestone in strengthening PlantArcBio's capabilities in the development of RNAi-based products," said Dror Shalitin, PhD, founder and CEO of PlantArcBio, in the press release. "ICL, a market leader in crop nutrition products, is a great strategic partner for us to commercialize this sustainable technology worldwide."