Cotyledon Consulting: Changing the agricultural industry with RNAi technology

Layne Woodfin, co-founder of Cotyledon Consulting specializes in biotech solutions in plants and microbes. Their product Stem Shock is capable of eliminating all invasive plant species (i.e. weeds) without hurting your plants or other crops.

“We started with kind of a nugget of an idea,” says Layne.

Fast forward five years, and that tiny idea has evolved into an innovative company in the synthetic and plant biology field.

Whether there are invasive weeds in your lawn, park, farm or field, Stem Shock’s got you covered.



Innovation + Technology = Stem Shock

Stem Shock uses RNA interference (RNAi) technology to only target weed species. This means it won’t hurt your other plants and crops!

How? Well, it does this in 3 steps:

  1. Stem Shock works through a ‘programmed cell death’ platform
  2. RNAi stops the production of specific genes
  3. Targeted weed species are killed

No wonder it offers a solution for controlling weeds resistant to traditional herbicides!

Kind of like shocking the stem of the plant… Hence the name Stem Shock.

This is HUGE for the agricultural industry!

Farmers no longer have to worry about 2 big problems:

  • Getting a bad yield of their crop of choice
    • Weeds grow faster and higher than row crops (like corn) by taking up all the nutrients
  • Mixing up their grains when it’s time to harvest
    • A plant’s seeds will mix with the seeds of an invasive species if they’re in the same field

Stem Shock targets and eliminates these herbicide-resistant plant species that are infesting farms and fields.

This means more fruits and veggies for us!

It’s also safe for people AND the environment

You don’t even have to worry about any negative health effects because it’s not a big chemical herbicide – it’s natural, biodegradable and GMO-free.

Stem Shock even saves your other plants from those pesky weeds that steal their nutrients.

Past, Present and Future

With their top-notch research, Cotyledon Consulting won funding from the BCIC New Ventures BC competition in 2015, providing them the financial support they critically needed.

“Everything fell together after that point,” says Layne. They were finally able to move out of the little shop in his parent’s backyard in Port Alberni, and into a new lab space in Surrey.

Their innovative research ultimately led to a product that has the potential to change the whole agricultural industry.

What’s next?

“While the initial focus was agriculture, we now see that there’s a lot of potential for use in pesticides in general,” says Layne.

Saving the planet AND no bug bites? Sign me up!

Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash

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