As we are moving away from fossil fuels to we need to look at biomass and biofuels. One of the constraining factors is, obviously how fast plants grow.
PolyGenomX has been doing some amazing things with their 'Lamont Process' to get greater growth out of plants. The photo below shows the dramatic results on a Pawlonia plant.
We are not entirely sure if the company is still operating, but regardless, the efforts should be mentioned.
PolyGenomX Limited (PGX) has, via a number of field trials and laboratory tests, demonstrated its ability to produce polygenomic or epigenomic varieties of all of the plants species it has selected for development.
PGX polygenomic varieties undergo gene duplication (or polyploidy) adding additional cellular copies of their natural genomes (DNA). A significant effect of this rare but natural phenomenon is a significant (around 50%) increase in the plant’s efficiency in synthesizing atmospheric carbon (CO2). Faster and more efficient carbon synthesis means accelerated growth, faster maturation, shorter harvest cycles, greater biomass, higher yields and an increase in general robustness – all with no increase in the plant’s use of other inputs (water, nutrient, fertiliser, labour).
PGX epigenomic varieties undergo stress conditioning to trigger increased tolerance to conditions such as aridity, salinity, soil toxicity, mineral deficiency and an increasingly hotter world. In late 2012 the Company began the process of extending this capability so as to develop plants that promise to be naturally resistant to the bacterial, viral and fungal diseases which, despite higher and higher use of chemical pesticides, increasingly decimate the world’s crops, reducing yields, raising food costs and contributing directly to global hunger.
Image Credits: PolyGenomX website and LinkedIn
Malcom Lamont is the scientist behind the Lamont Process (he finished with PolyGenomX in Aug 2014)
John Henderson is the Financial Controller
Robert Thistlethwaite is the Chairman