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27 Mar 2019

News: CRAG and IRTA announce an international partnership with the US based company Front Range Biosciences

CRAG and IRTA researchers will bring their experience in the use of genetic markers to industrial hemp breeding

 

The Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG) and the IRTA are pleased to announce their entry into a partnership with the US-based company Front Range Biosciences® (FRB). FRB is a company based in Colorado (USA) specialized in providing hemp, coffee and high-value crops producers with consistent, disease-free, high-yielding plants and seeds. Thanks to this partnership CRAG and IRTA specialists in plant breeding and genetic marker-assisted selection will apply this knowledge to hemp.

 

FRB combines the best practices in agriculture with modern science. The company uses a proprietary Clean Stock® process, which includes the latest technologies in tissue culture and in vitro propagation, to obtain disease-free, pesticide-free, true-to-type plant stock in the form of clones or cuttings. For FRB, the partnership with CRAG and IRTA represents the company’s arrival in Europe. “We are happy to establish our presence in Europe with the help of such innovative and well-regarded organizations,” said Ray French, Director of Product Development for FRB. “Partnerships with leading entities like CRAG and IRTA are vital to develop crops that are internationally proven and created with methods informed by the best available worldwide knowledge.”

 

Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant with a variety of industrial uses such as the production of paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, animal feed and pharmaceuticals. The scientific collaboration among CRAG, IRTA and FRB will aid in developing hemp plants that perform well throughout differing climates, resist disease, and produce bespoke cannabinoid and terpene profiles. CRAG’s and IRTA’s significant scientific team and experimental resources and infrastructure, including its confined greenhouses and computing capabilities, will play a major role in this work.

 

"The partnership between FRB and CRAG leverages the complementary expertise and capabilities of both institutions to strengthen research and accelerate the development of innovative solutions for high-value crops," said José Luis Riechmann, Director of CRAG. "We look forward to a very productive collaboration with such a forward-looking company as FRB".

 

Amparo Monfort, IRTA researcher at CRAG and leader of this collaborative project declared, “The interest of this research is to apply genetic marker technology for the improvement of species, with high added value for the industry and the community, such as hemp. We are very interested in developing this collaboration, with great expectations for the future."