DuPont this week announced an agreement to buy a California biotech company that officials hope will advance the chemical giant's agribusiness offerings.
Taxon Biosciences, founded 15 years ago by a pair of microbial geneticists, works to develop agricultural products based on microorganisms, including microbes, plant extracts and other natural substances.
Taxon's technology offers options for pest control and plant quality and will help DuPont create new seed, leaf and soil products for row crops, fruits and vegetables, the Delaware-based company said.
Frank DeGennaro, director of DuPont Biologicals, said Taxon's broad intellectual property holdings will "complement and enhance our in-house microbial discovery programs."
The acquisition is just the latest in a pattern of agribusiness giants seeking to expand their biological capabilities. The market is currently valued at about $2 billion with a projected growth rate of 10 to 15 percent, according to Reuters.
Testing of Taxon products should begin later this year, and DuPont executive Jim Borel told Reuters he expects products to hit the market within five years.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed; closing is expected in the second quarter of the year.