Metabolix, Inc., Cambridge, Mass., has just completed a field trial of growing tobacco that was genetically engineered to produce polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) biopolymers.

Metabolix, Inc., Cambridge, Mass., has just completed a field trial of growing

tobacco that was genetically engineered to produce polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA)

biopolymers. The trial was performed on 0.8 acres and yielded tobacco plants

containing up to 3% to 5% of PHA. This trial lays the groundwork for future trials

of growing PHA in bioengineered, nonfood oilseed and biomass crops such as

switchgrass and sugarcane.

    Metabolix previously developed genetically engineered bacteria that produce

PHA inside their cell walls by fermenting cornstarch. This method is used to produce

Mirel bioplastic for Telles in Lowell, Mass., a joint venture of Metabolix and Archer Daniels Midland.

(617) 492-0505 • metabolix.com

(978) 513-1865 • mirelplastics.com