AgBiome, an agricultural science startup co-founded by professors at UNC-Chapel Hill and a veteran Triangle tech executive, has raised $14.5 million in financing from several VC firms as it gears for product launch.

The financing from Polaris Partners, ARCH Venture Partners, Harris & Harris Group, Innotech Advisers and other investors who were not identified was disclosed early Thursday.

“AgBiome has assembled the best team, investors, technology and market know-how to position the company for success,” said veteran Triangle life science executive and company co-founder John Ryals. (Ryals is the Chief Executive Officer of genetic science firm Metabolon.)

Jeff Dangl, a professor and a geneticist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and John Couch, a biology professor at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, are among the firm’s several co-founders.

The leadership group also includes numerous executives with extensive crop science experience at Triangle-based firms.

“AgBiome is focused on a significant opportunity to improve crop productivity, and the company’s leadership team has a proven track record in bringing innovative products to market,” said Polaris Partners’ Amir Nashat on a statement. “We are excited to be working with the AgBiome team again.”

The company’s name comes in part from “microbiome,” the microorganisms associated with plants. These are important to plant productivity, disease and pest resistance as well as environmental factors, the company says.

The firm’s scientists have identified what it calls “novel microbes” that can help boost plant productivity.

“Microbes associated with agriculture ecosystems are a nearly infinite source of useful new genes and biologicals,” said AgBiome’s Chief Scientific Officer Dan Tomso in the announcement. “AgBiome aims to become the world leader in agricultural discovery centered around these resources.”

AgBiome is also hiring. Its website lists six job openings.