The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research has awarded a cost-matching grant of $1.5 million to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and Crop One Holdings. The money will be used by Crop One and CSHL researchers to create aquatic plants of the Lemnaceae (Lemna) family that grow quickly and provide high-quality protein for human use. By 2030, the global protein industry, estimated to be worth more than $162 billion, may account for up to 7.7% of all food consumption. Since CEA-grown plant-based protein uses up to 95% less water than conventional outdoor crops, it is more environmentally friendly. Proteins derived from plants have the potential to drastically cut agricultural carbon emissions.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and Crop One Holdings announced today that they have each received a cost-matching grant of USD 1.5 million from the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) to assist researchers in finding an effective way to grow plant-based dietary protein through controlled environment agriculture (CEA). With its high protein content, fast-growing aquatic plants of the Lemnaceae (Lemna) family will be developed by Crop One and CSHL researchers to supply high-quality protein for human consumption.
Deane Falcone, Chief Scientific Officer at Crop One, said, “We’re eager to work closely with the Martienssen lab at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to adapt and extend existing technology in controlled environment agriculture to the year-round cultivation, harvesting, and commercial product optimization of Lemnaceae aquatic plants. Our study will unquestionably assist enhance access and fulfill the rising demand for more nutrient-dense, environmentally friendly meals while lessening the pressure on plant and animal protein production systems,”
According to Dr. Jeffrey Rosichan, head of the FFAR research program, “Lemnaceae is specially adapted for the human diet and may augment our protein needs as the worldwide need for protein develops. This study is contributing to enhancing its nutritional content and utilizing enhanced controlled environment agricultural technologies to increase its accessibility to consumers.”
Image provided by Crop One Holdings