Bayer CropScience and KeyGene (Wageningen, the Netherlands) this week announced a multi-year agreement for research collaboration on traits in a number of major agricultural crops.
The scope of the first research program is wheat, potentially to be followed by programs in oilseed rape, rice and cotton.
In the collaboration Bayer will access KeyGene's KeySeeQ discovery pipeline. This pipeline will identify genes associated with novel traits such as drought tolerance. The genes are then improved via KeyGene's high throughput mutagenesis method KeyPoint.
"Our integrated technology and trait providing company has proprietary know-how and methods to discover, generate and validate new traits. KeyGene has reportedly generated improved genes for innovative traits, including insect resistance and drought tolerance in various crops," said Arjen van Tunen, KeyGene's CEO.
Subsequently Bayer will introduce new wheat varieties based on the results on seed markets worldwide.
"Bayer has the goal to offer farmers tailor-made wheat varieties with improved yield and other agronomically important traits including drought tolerance and nitrogen use efficiency. Collaborating with Keygene and having access to their technology will aid us in achieving this goal," said David Nicholson, global head of research and development at Bayer CropScience.
Financial details about the agreement were not disclosed.