Nexgen Plants gains Aus$2 million investment
The Australian start-up company, Nexgen Plants, has received an Aus$2 million (US$1.8 million) investment from the venture capital firms, Yuuwa Capital and Uniseed. NexGen was spun out by the University of Queensland's commercial arm, UniQuest, this year. It is developing virus-resistant plants using the University's Nexgen technology, which is based on a new class of virus micro RNA molecules (Agrow No 647, p 4). "This funding is essential for Nexgen Plants to further the development of a potentially disruptive technology focused on producing virus-resistant varieties of plants for different crop types," says UniQuest's chief executive officer, Dr Dean Moss. The technology can confer virus resistance into existing commercial crop varieties in less than 12 months. It has been evaluated in crops such as maize, soybeans, wheat, rice, potatoes, sugar cane and cotton.