Crops & Plants for the Future

AgBiotechnics Ltd is working with a range of public and private sector partners in Ireland and internationally to develop novel crop varieties, technologies and production systems for the following photosynthetic organisms that have potential to contribute to future sustainable food, feed, fibre and energy needs.

In addition to working on agricultural (e.g. barley, maize), horticultural (e.g. tomato, strawberry) and ornamental crops (e.g. snapdragons), AgBiotechnics Ltd also works on bioenergy and biorefinery systems which have favourable Life Cycle Assessments (LCA).

Camelina sativa

Camelina is a low-input oilseed crop that has major promise for sustainable production of liquid biofuels, nutritional and industrial oils. Camelina seeds contain from 37 to 41% oil content, with an oil profile that is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Camelina can be grown as a multipurpose crop where oil is obtained from the crushed seed and the oilseed cake can be used for livestock feed. AgBiotechnics is collaborating with NUI Galway on development of a TILLING population for Camelina sativa.

Camelina seeds and flowers

Industrial hemp

Industrial hemp is a fast growing fibre crop that can be biorefined into a variety of commercial items including paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed. With support from Enterprise Ireland, AgBiotechnics is working with NUI Galway to improve the fiber characteristics and cannabinoid profiles of industrial hemp.

Hemp crop UK

Novel snapdragon ornamental varieties

Agbiotechnics Ltd is working closely with Fitzgerald Nurseries Ltd (Ireland) on the development of novel genetics and novel varieties of snapdragon varieties (Antirrhinum) for international export and licensing markets. Antirrhinum flowers have been cultivated since Roman times due to their beautiful right-left symmetry flowers. Early scientists such as Gregor Mendel and Charles Darwin grew Antirrhinum for reseach purposes, and there is still significant plant genetics and breeding reserch on Antirrhinum today. Agbiotechnics is screening novel populations of Antirrhinum that it has generated so that new Antirrhinum varieties can be identified and marketed to the delight of gardeners and ornamental growers worldwide.