A young Scottish firm that is developing technology to control genes has won a vote of confidence from a US chemical giant.

Synpromics said it had agreed an important collaboration deal with The Dow Chemical Company to develop the Edinburgh-based firm's technology for application in plant science.

Synpromics' chairman, David Lawrence, said the deal provided validation of the potential value to industry of the company's technology from a leading multinational.

The company said it aimed to develop a broad range of synthetic promoters that could be used to control gene activity in any cell or tissue type of interest.

It has started an initial proof of concept project with Dow's AgroSciences business to demonstrate the application of Synpromics' synthetic promoter technology in certain crops.

Dow AgroSciences said synthetic promoters had significant potential to accelerate the gene discovery and related product development processes in the agricultural industry.

"Technologies such as those developed by Synpromics can significantly enhance Dow AgroSciences' tool kit for developing improved crops," said Daniel R Kittle, vice-president, research ad development, Dow AgroSciences.

Synpromics' chief executive, Michael Roberts, said the company had formed a number of partnerships and was well placed to grow quickly.

With a degree in biochemistry from the University of Glasgow, Mr Roberts founded Synpromics in 2010 after heading the research and development department at the Regulon biotech business.