October 17, 2013

 

Evogene, DuPont Pioneer extend collaboration for soy rust resistance

 

 

  


Evogene Ltd. announced the extension and expansion of its multi-year research collaboration with DuPont Pioneer, for developing soy varieties displaying resistance to Asian Soy Rust (ASR).

 

Soy is one of the most important commercial crops around the world, supplying protein for human and animal consumption, as well as feedstock for oil production. ASR is a major disease that affects the crop, mostly in the prime soy growing regions of North and South America.

 

As part of the original collaboration, Evogene and Pioneer established a joint research programme aimed at identifying and validating novel genes portraying the highest probability for in-plant resistance to ASR. Under the programme, novel genes identified by Evogene will be evaluated and validated by Pioneer in their soy research lines as possible leads for further development and commercialisation.

 

Under the one-year extension, the parties will add Evogene's Gene2ProductTM computational platform to the gene discovery programme. The platform, which offers gene optimisation by utilising advanced gene stacking (i.e. combining of multiple genes) and regulation prediction, is designed to improve the efficacy and probability of success of the resulting novel seed products.

 

Ofer Haviv, President and CEO, Evogene stated, "Our Gene2ProductTM platform is a key component of our predictive capabilities aimed at utilising improved gene efficacy to reduce development timeframes and promote the probability of success of end-products. Under the joint DuPont Pioneer/Evogene ASR programme, significant progress has been made and an excellent collaborative relationship established. Therefore we are very pleased that Pioneer has chosen to expand and accelerate our efforts by incorporating this recently developed Evogene platform."

 

"Asian soy rust remains a challenge for growers," said Gusui Wu, Senior

 

Research Director, DuPont Pioneer. "We value our collaboration with Evogene and their technology strengths to help deliver effective resistance to this devastating disease to our customers."

 

The original collaboration programme included partial funding by the BIRD Foundation, a bi-national foundation which supports and encourages cooperation between Israeli and American companies in various areas of technology.

 

Evogene's current gene discovery activity in the field of biotic stresses is one of the company's four product divisions.

 

Haviv added, "I believe the field of acute biotic stresses holds a significant opportunity for Evogene. This opportunity will be derived from expanding our existing programmes, as well as focusing on new biotic stresses that are not currently part of our discovery portfolio."

 

Evogene is a plant genomics company utilising a proprietary integrated technology infrastructure to enhance seed traits underlying crop productivity. It offers a complete solution for crop productivity improvement through biotechnology and advanced breeding using a unique technology infrastructure that is based on deep scientific understandings of plant genomics and proprietary computational capabilities.

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