Metabolix, Inc., a bioscience company
focused on developing sustainable solutions for plastics, chemicals and energy,
has completed a field trial of tobacco, genetically engineered to express
polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) bio-based polymers. Metabolix obtained the necessary
permits from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal Plant Health Inspection
Service (APHIS) to perform an open-air field trial in March of 2009 and field
trial experiments were completed in early October. The trial was performed on
0.8 acres of land and provided valuable data and information relating to
polymer production, with the best plants producing three to five percent PHA.
This furthers development of Metabolix crop technologies for the co-production
of bio-based plastics in non-food bio-energy crops.