TCU Place 35 -22nd St. East, Saskatoon, SK    

<< return to program
Jos Van Boxtel
Principal Scientist, Arcadia Biosciences Inc.
Davis, CA, USA
Finding New Business Opportunities with Sustainability in Mind
Monday, September 13, 2010
4:00 - 4:30 pm

Abstract:  Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) and Water Use Efficiency (WUE) are two agronomic traits which can create sustainability, reduce the environmental footprint and increase additional value capture of food, feed and energy crops.
NUE contributes to more efficient use of fertilizer by the plant and, therefore, reduced fertilizer use. This translates into a dual effect: less run-off of unused nitrogen in waterways and lower conversion into nitrous oxide, a highly potent greenhouse gas. WUE, which is defined as sustained crop growth under suboptimal watering conditions, can affect the water footprint of agriculture crops, by using less high quality fresh water. Besides value capture from reduced fertilizer and irrigation cost, additional value can be gained from reduced carbon and water footprint. Both may be valued in carbon credits which are tied to calculations of reduced fertilizer and water use through NUE-WUE crops.
Combining both traits could induce considerable input reduction in agriculture and therefore introduce a certain level of sustainability. Sustainability is especially desired in the production of energy crops, where vast areas of suboptimal land will be used, which are unsuitable for higher value food and feed crops.
Arcadia is developing agronomic and product quality traits which are giving growers alternative and financially beneficial ways of using suboptimal land and simultaneously creating value from reduced environmental footprint.
Manager Plant Transformation Group 2003-current
Lead Scientist GHG Reduction Program 2009-current

Jos holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Sciences - Plant Breeding from Wageningen University in the Netherlands. His Ph.D. research work was conducted at CIRAD, Montpellier, France, studying the genetic transformation of coffee. From 1995 to 1999 he was a post-doc studying virus resistance in cowpea through genetic engineering at the John Innes Centre in the UK. From 1999 to 2002, he returned to CIRAD, this time studying salt and drought tolerance in rice through genetic engineering. And before joining Arcadia in January 2003, he had worked 1 year with prof. Eduardo Blumwald at UC Davis on salt tolerant rice. In addition to production of transgenic plants for the various Arcadia projects, Jos’ Plant Transformation Group works on innovating plant gene modification techniques which can be used for enhancing environmental and health benefits of agricultural crops. Since last year, Jos has the additional task of leading the science group in the Arcadia GHG Reduction Program.

Click to view Jos Van Boxtel's ABIC 2010 presentation