April 11, 2014


Bayer CropScience and Targenomix enter into research collaboration agreement 




Bayer CropScience and Targenomix GmbH, Potsdam, have entered into a five-year research collaboration to develop and apply systems biology approaches for the exploration of metabolic and regulatory networks in plants.


Targenomix is a spin-off of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology.


The insights gained from the collaboration will be applied to identify and explore novel small molecules as well as trait technologies, with the goal of developing innovative crop protection and plant health solutions.


"I strongly support this collaboration aimed at identifying new molecular targets and pathways of importance for healthy plant growth. The goal of developing innovative solutions to increase agricultural productivity will be highly beneficial", said Peter Gruss, president of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft.


"Farmers worldwide urgently need new solutions to further increase both yields and the quality of harvested produce", said Dr. Axel Trautwein, head of chemical crop protection research at Bayer CropScience. He noted that plants are exposed to a wide range of both biotic and abiotic stresses which often occur in combination and have a significant impact on world agriculture. "This partnership between Bayer CropScience and Targenomix will bring together leading scientists who will leverage their combined knowledge to elucidate some of the secrets of plant biology."


"Plants are complex organisms which respond to numerous environmental and endogenous signals. Yield is the result of the integration of multiple molecular and biochemical processes and systems approaches are key to understanding these complex interactions. During the last ten years the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology has become a world leader in plant systems biology and Targenomix will help to translate this knowledge to an industrial setting," said professor Lothar Willmitzer, director of the Max Planck Institute and one of the founders of Targenomix.


"We are excited and proud to have agreed the research collaboration with Bayer CropScience and are confident that the combined knowledge of both companies will result in new concepts in agriculture," said Dr. Sebastian Klie, chief executive officer of Targenomix and previously a computational biologist at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology. "We would like to thank Max-Planck-Innovation GmbH, the technology transfer organisation of the Max Planck Society, for their strong support during the setting up of this collaboration."


Initially 12 scientists, under the scientific lead of professor Willmitzer who will act as a consultant for the program, will work on this collaboration at Targenomix. It is planned to further expand the platform during the timeframe of the collaboration.

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