Synthetic Genomics, ExxonMobil Open New Facility

La Jolla-based Synthetic Genomics and Exxon Mobil announced today that they have opened up a greenhouse facility, as part of the two firms' $300M biofuels effort. The two, which announced last week that ExxonMobil will invest up to $300M in Synthetic Genomics for its biofuels development efforts, said that the greenhouse facility will enable research and testing of its algae biofuels program. Synthetic Genomics is using gene sequencing and other techniques to create more efficient algae biofuels. The firm is headed by J. craig Venter, who is well known for being a pioneer in gene sequencing, and was the founder of Celera Genomics and The Institute for Genomic Research. ExxonMobil said it has dedicated more than $300M in funding--if milestones are met--to Synthetic Genomics, as part of a $600M algae biofuels program.