La Jolla-based Synthetic Genomics Inc. has entered a new research agreement with ExxonMobil Corp., using genomics to develop strains of algae that can be used for biofuel.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The companies have partnered since 2009, researching ways to develop algae-based biofuels. The new agreement will focus on developing algae that reproduces quickly and can withstand living in challenging environments, ultimately leading to greater production of fuels, the companies said.

Synthetic Genomics said it continues to invest in large-scale cultivation facilities which will help the company longer term in the scale-up and commercialization of improved algal strains for food, chemicals and fuel.

The company has two facilities — a smaller scale research greenhouse and laboratory near the Synthetic Genomics campus in La Jolla, and a larger-scale development and commercial production facility in Imperial Valley.

— SDBJ Staff Report