Ceres Receives $3.5 million from USAID for Trait Stacks

           Ceres Receives $3.5 million from USAID for Trait Stacks

PR Newswire

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Nov. 8, 2012

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Energy crop company Ceres,
Inc. (Nasdaq: CERE) today announced that the U.S. Agency for International
Development, or USAID, has expanded its grant to the company to develop traits
in rice for Asia. Based on Ceres' success to date, USAID will provide an
additional $3.5 million to Ceres over the next four years to extend field
trialing and development of the company's biotech traits and trait stacks in
rice. The company will also help foster the development of local expertise in
biotech traits in rice within India. The USAID grant to Ceres is administered
in alignment with the Feed the Future Research Strategy, which is a component
of Feed the Future, the U.S. government's global hunger and food security

Since 2009, Ceres has worked with USAID, which delivers economic and
humanitarian assistance on behalf of the U.S. government, under a $3.0 million
grant to increase rice yields, especially under stress conditions and on poor
soils. India is expected to become the world's most populous nation, but its
crop yields lag behind other countries at 58th in the world. To increase
cereal crop production capabilities in India and other countries in Asia, more
successful breeding and trait development programs are needed.

The new USAID funding will extend Ceres' trait work in rice for four more
years. Ceres researchers will focus specifically on combining its best
high-yield and stress-tolerance genes into stacks, which can amplify the
benefits of individual traits. Ceres will also continue to collaborate with a
local Indian seed company to cross the best traits and trait stacks into
commercial rice types adapted to the subcontinent. Work under the grant will
begin at Ceres' facility in Thousand Oaks, California and through a
collaboration partner in China. Evaluations of parental breeding lines are now
underway in India. Subject to regulatory approval, field evaluations of the
first commercial hybrids with the Ceres traits could begin as early as

Roger Pennell, PhD., Ceres Vice President of Trait Development and the project
lead under the grant, said that one of the most important aspects of the USAID
grant is to help build the expertise and capacity within India to ensure
further development of biotech traits as well as to help develop a commercial
plan to promote sustainable agricultural production and greater food security.

"Domestic rice yields in India are insufficient to reliably feed the growing
population, especially under drought conditions and on soils with depleted
nitrogen or high amounts of salt contamination. Our trait work here offers a
new opportunity to not only help increase yields in one of the most widely
cultivated crops in the world, but also to help return low quality cropland to
productivity," said Pennell. He noted that in addition to its core energy crop
business, Ceres has generated many biotech traits specifically for cereal
crops, like rice, that increase grain yields and provide greater yield
stability across environments. The company intends to license these traits to
established seed companies.

Steve Bobzin, PhD., Senior Director of Technology Planning, Protection and
Acquisition at Ceres, and co-author of the grant proposal, said that the
performance of traits and trait stacks in rice is also a good indicator of
performance in other grass species, such as sorghum, switchgrass and
miscanthus. "We expect that the evaluation of many of these trait stacks in
rice will have the additional benefit of accelerating their development in our
core energy crops."

Ceres, Inc. (www.ceres.net) is an agricultural biotechnology company that
markets seeds for energy crops used in the production of renewable
transportation fuels, electricity and bio-based products. The company combines
advanced plant breeding and biotechnology to develop products that can address
the limitations of first-generation bioenergy feedstocks, increase biomass
productivity, reduce crop inputs and improve cultivation on marginal land. Its
development activities include sweet sorghum, high-biomass sorghum,
switchgrass and miscanthus. Ceres markets its products under its Blade brand.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent agency
that provides economic, development and humanitarian assistance around the
world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States. As stated
in the President's National Security Strategy, USAID's work in development
joins diplomacy and defense as one of three key pieces of the nation's foreign
policy apparatus. USAID promotes peace and stability by fostering economic
growth, protecting human health, providing emergency humanitarian assistance,
and enhancing democracy in developing countries. These efforts to improve the
lives of millions of people worldwide represent U.S. values and advance U.S.
interests for peace and prosperity. www.usaid.gov

Feed the Future is the United States Government's global hunger and food
security initiative. It supports country-driven approaches to address the root
causes of hunger and poverty and forge long-term solutions to chronic food
insecurity and undernutrition. Drawing upon resources and expertise of
agencies across the U.S. Government, this Presidential Initiative is helping
countries transform their own agriculture sectors to sustainably grow enough
food to feed their people. www.feedthefuture.gov

This press release may contain forward-looking statements. All statements,
other than statements of historical facts, including statements regarding our
efforts to develop and commercialize our products, our short-term and
long-term business strategies, market and industry expectations, future
operating metrics, product yields and future results of operations and
financial position, are forward-looking statements. You should not place undue
reliance on these forward-looking statements because they involve known and
unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are, in some cases, beyond
our control. Factors that could materially affect actual results can be found
in Ceres' filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Ceres
undertakes no intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking
statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or
otherwise. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as
representing Ceres' views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press

SOURCE Ceres, Inc.

Website: http://www.ceres.net
Contact: Gary Koppenjan, Ceres, Inc., +1-805-376-6546, mediaoffice@ceres.net
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