Verdesian opens new greenhouse at Duke University

Verdesian Life Sciences has expanded its research pipeline by opening a greenhouse facility at Duke University to develop early technology validation screening for agricultural nutrient use efficiency (NUE) technologies.

The new Verdesian greenhouse is part of Verdesian’s Early Technology Validation (ETV) screening to facilitate the Verdesian Technology Advancement (VTA) pipeline. Improved pipeline efficiency through early testing of new concepts under small-scale, controlled conditions will allow Verdesian to better understand capabilities at an early stage, helping to define opportunities while mitigating risks and optimizing time and resources on viable candidates. The 1,000 square feet of greenhouse space at Duke University adds to Verdesian’s existing growth chambers in Research Triangle Park (RTP).

“Our greenhouse at Duke University supports our R&D as a science-backed company,” said Kenny Avery, CEO for Verdesian. “The greenhouse provides the necessary environment to support vetting and evaluating new technologies that meet grower needs.”

New technology opportunities vary drastically, requiring a customized ETV screening method that brings together various growth system components and methods for detecting differences in plant function.

Agricultural field trials are critical to product development but are time consuming and introduce unnecessary risks for untested products. The new Verdesian greenhouses at Duke University will allow Verdesian to efficiently and economically identify and classify new prospects, test viable technologies and prioritize and develop those opportunities into NUE technologies. Prospects passing ETV screening will continue down the VTA pipeline and on to field testing.

The new Verdesian greenhouse at Duke is overseen by the ETV team which is leading the effort to develop these new screening capabilities. The team was formed to build a robust and flexible screening platform in 2018, further expanding those capabilities with additional laboratory methods and instruments into early 2019.

Plant physiologist, Dr. Amy Burton, joined Verdesian in December of 2017 and leads the VTA pipeline. Prior to Verdesian, Dr. Burton was with Bayer CropScience in Research Triangle Park. She completed her post-doctoral work in plant stress physiology with the United States Department of Agriculture.

The Verdesian ETV team was expanded in the first quarter of 2018, with the additions of Biology Laboratory Technician, Sandra Paa, and Greenhouse Technician, Beth Waller.

Verdesian’s growing portfolio includes over 300 patent proprietary technologies developed in partnership with leading global research institutions and universities, including the United States Department of Agriculture, Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of California Riverside, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Verdesian is a 4R Nutrient Stewardship Partner with The Fertilizer Institute leading the effort to improve crop performance and soil health and cleaner air and water by applying the 4R principles: Right Source, Right Rate, Right Time, and Right Place for fertilizer nutrients. Verdesian is expanding its collaboration work with American Society of Agronomy, The Soil Science Society of America, and other leading global agricultural institutions to drive greater agricultural efficiency production.