DuPont announced it has agreed to acquire Taxon Biosciences, a microbiome discovery company. This acquisition will build on DuPont’s in-house capabilities and unparalleled market access in both seed and crop protection to discover and commercialize biological solutions for agriculture customers globally.

“In 2014, the businesses in DuPont’s Agriculture, Nutrition & Health and Industrial Biosciences segments sold more than $1 billion in biological solutions across four market sectors. Our in-house, cross-business venture, DuPont Biologicals, draws on our world-class science and deep understanding of food and production agriculture markets to deliver value-added crop biological solutions,” said Executive Vice President James C. (Jim) Borel. “Taxon has built a leading technology platform for the discovery of microbial based products that will further strengthen our capabilities in biologicals.”

Based in Tiburon, Calif., Taxon was founded in 2000, by leading microbial geneticists Matt Ashby and Jasper Rine, with the objective of developing a transformational microbial genomics platform to solve critical challenges in agriculture, energy and health sciences. The company holds a broad intellectual property estate in the field of microbial consortia and microbial genomics products which will contribute to the development of new DuPont seed treatment, foliar and soil application products for important row crops, fruits and vegetables.

“The acquisition of Taxon will complement and enhance our in-house microbial discovery programs,” said Frank DeGennaro, director of DuPont Biologicals. “With this added capability, we expect to accelerate our time from discovery to market and we are field testing biological discovery leads identified by Taxon this year.”

Crop biologicals include microbes, plant extracts, and other natural substances used to control pests and improve plant health, quality and yield. As part of an integrated management approach to control pests, biologicals can provide more choice and flexibility for growers, and complement leading-edge solutions for growers available from DuPont Crop Protection and DuPont Pioneer.

DuPont Crop Protection recently launched DuPont Acapela Soft Control in France that combines an effective biological treatment with new-generation DuPont chemistry for foliar disease control in oilseed rape resulting in added value for our customers. Several DuPont seed products in North America today are treated with biological seed treatment products for properties such as improved stand, vigor and yield.

The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Closing of the acquisition is expected in the second quarter.