Upstream BioTechnology Inc.

Engineering crop resilience to
changing environments.

Who Are We

Upstream Biotechnology – we’re a team of plant technologist pioneers, deconvoluting the complex regulatory networks controlling plant gene expression into simple, powerful solutions to improve grower profitability and build resilience in the food value chain.


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About Us

From its origins in foundational technology discovered at Duke University, Upstream Biotechnology has built established a new platform for the development of leading seed products, based on a proprietary strategy for deployment of value-added traits.

Our Mission

With the world population set to top 10 billion by 2050, agriculture faces the need to ratchet its outputs ever higher. In recent years, pandemics, wars, and extreme weather events have added new risks to supply chains that were already fragile. Farmers and the food value chain urgently need new paths to crop yield enhancement that are consistent, resilient, and that fit into existing cropping systems. 

  Upstream Biotechnology is dedicated to the discovery and development of the next generation of seed traits to help growers meet the demands of this new agricultural landscape.


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George Greene


Xinnian Dong


Strategic Advisors

Adam Fisher


John Salmeron


Our Technology

Trait technology is a major reason for the increases in crop yields over the past two decades. Adoption of first-generation traits such as insect resistance and herbicide tolerance has been swift, with over 90% of corn, soybeans and cotton carrying these proven value drivers. Yet the pace of discovery for new trait modes-of-action has slowed considerably. Upstream Biotechnology is positioned to deliver the next generation of traits to enable growers with ever higher yields.

Engineering traits for crop resilience is critical for improving yields in the face of a changing environment. Upstream Biotechnology has unlocked an understanding of how the regulation of plant genes can be most optimally tuned to offer yield benefits. Many trait genes have been shown to perform well but show high variability in performance across environments. Upstream’s proprietary LOTUS (?) technology platform reduces turbulence in trait performance to support plant health throughout development resulting in top yields.

In certain cultures, the Lotus flower is strongly associated with fertility, knowledge, resilience and rebirth. The Lotus represents Upstream Biotechnology’s commitment to bring new energy to the potential of trait technology to help meet the world’s demands for a safe, secure food supply.

Technological Challenges

Genetic engineering has revolutionized modern agriculture by incorporating non-plant genes into target genomes for resistance to insect pests and weeds. Yet, developing improvements upon this foundation to engineer complex traits (e.g., Water Use Efficiency or resistance to fungal pathogens) has stalled. Constant or induced production of engineered plant-derived mRNA, an intermediate molecule to functional protein, leads to unintended off-target effects and sensitivities that limit plant performance (e.g., improvements in disease resistance lead to losses in drought tolerance).