Pigmentum is an israeli agro-tech company established in 2018. the company developed an innovative molecular mechanism that enables external gene activation in plants (beginning with pigment changes & designs). the company has a patent on the inducible activation of pigment production abilities.
pigmentum’s plants contains genetic mechanism which in response to external signal, specific chosen cells sets off a pigment production cascade. the technology allows to draw unlimited patterns, using simple tools, without chemical pigment. the company will use its technology for high scale production of natural compound for the food, pharma and cosmetic industries
Pigmentum performs r&d at the robert h. smith school of agriculture at the hebrew university of jerusalem’s rehovot campus and was one of the promising ventures of the huji innovation program (“open innovation”) the hebrew university. one of its co-founders is professor alexander vainstein , who is expert in the field of genetic engineering in plants.
The company received an initial investment from the israel innovation authority.
technology & innovation– genetically modified plants containing transcription factors (regulatory genes that binds to other parts in the genome and enhancerepress genes expression) andor specific genes that enhance production of specific wanted molecules, under the control of inducible promoters (promoters which activated in response to certain added signal). the mechanism allows external control on genetic mechanisms on wanted times in specific cells and allowing production of desirable organic compounds for the food, pharma and cosmetic industries in high scales on demand.
The external signal can be applied on the plants through irrigation or spraying. in advance, by using crispr technology we’re able to knockout expression of genes that producing unwanted metabolites in the biosynthetic pathways and to stimulate it towards specific wanted metabolites.
Production of metabolites in transgenic plants has been done for long time, yet our inducible mechanism is offering advantage on the existing alternatives in several ways:
1. inducible and active only when the signal is implemented (the plants are able to grow without any interruption).
2. offers several growth cycles on the same plants- after the first activation and harvest, the signal is fade away and the genetic mechanism isn’t active, the plants can be grown “green” again to the wanted size and the activate and harvest and so on.
3. produce metabolites which would have been harming the plants health and growth that cannot be produce in plants in constitutive expression andor production of unstable metabolites and harvest them next to their formation.