BASF to Expand Its Plant Biotechnology Research Into Fungal Resistance in Corn
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC -- (Marketwire) -- 01/29/13 --
-- Corn to be added as a new crop to the fungal resistance platform
-- Nutritionally Enhanced Corn project to be stopped
-- Approval process for the potato projects in Europe to be discontinued
BASF Plant Science is continuing to strengthen its focus on plant
biotechnology solutions to achieve higher yield in plants. BASF will
expand its fungal resistance research platform by adding corn as a
target crop. At the same time, research activities in Nutritionally
Enhanced Corn will be stopped and the European approval processes for
potato products will be discontinued.
Main focus on yield and stress
BASF will continue to focus on the development of crops that deliver
higher yields and improved resistance to stress conditions. A key
component of these activities in plant biotechnology is an industry
leading collaboration with Monsanto for key row crops such as
soybeans and corn. Both companies have jointly developed the first
genetically modified drought tolerant corn, Genuity(R)
DroughtGard(TM) Hybrids, which received approval for cultivation in
the U.S. at the end of 2011 and was in Monsanto's Ground Breakers(SM)
trials in 2012. The full commercialization is expected in 2013/14.
"BASF Plant Science is where innovation yields results. Our 'Trait
Technology Partner' strategy has proven to be successful. We continue
to expand into fields where we can leverage our understanding of a
plant's behavior to achieve more yield through plant biotechnology
approaches," said Peter Eckes, President of BASF Plant Science. The
company has partnerships with leading agricultural companies such as
Monsanto, Bayer CropScience, Cargill, and KWS, Germany.
Expansion of fungal resistance platform into corn
The new research and development activities for fungal resistant corn
will be located at BASF Plant Science's global headquarters in
Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina. Field testing sites
will be located in North Carolina and in the Midwest region of the
"We will expand our fungal resistance platform into corn because of
the attractive long-term market potential as well as the fit to our
strategy to deliver more yield. Corn production suffers from severe
yield losses triggered by fungal diseases, which have not been
successfully addressed by conventional breeding approaches. Both
modern chemical crop protection and plant biotechnology can offer
solutions to secure yields. In our expanded program, we can build
upon our top-quality technology platform for fungal resistance in
soybeans in Limburgerhof, Germany," said Eckes.
Nutritionally Enhanced Corn and potato projects discontinued
As part of a continuous review of the project portfolio for strategic
fit and attainment of project milestones, BASF Plant Science will no
longer pursue research and development activities into Nutritionally
Enhanced Corn in the United States. The company will also discontinue
the pursuit of regulatory approvals for the Fortuna, Amadea, and
Modena potato projects in Europe because continued investment cannot
be justified due to uncertainty in the regulatory environment and
threats of field destructions.
The discontinuation of the Nutritionally Enhanced Corn activities
will result in the closure of six BASF field sites in Olivia,
Minnesota, Henderson, Nebraska, Weldon and Sycamore, Illinois,
Estherville, Iowa, and one of two sites in Ames, Iowa. In total,
around 40 positions will be eliminated.
BASF is the world's leading chemical company: The Chemical Company.
Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products
and crop protection products to oil and gas. We combine economic
success, social responsibility and environmental protection. Through
science and innovation we enable our customers in almost all
industries to meet the current and future needs of society. Our
products and system solutions contribute to conserving resources,
ensuring healthy food and nutrition and helping to improve the
quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate
purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF posted
sales of about EUR 73.5 billion in 2011 and had more than 111,000
employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the
stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN).
Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at
About BASF Plant Science
BASF Plant Science -- a BASF group company -- is one of the world's
leading companies providing innovative plant biotechnology solutions
for agriculture. Today, about 840 employees are helping farmers meet
the growing demand for improved agricultural productivity and
healthier nutrition. BASF Plant Science has developed an unparalleled
gene discovery platform focusing on yield and quality traits in crops
such as corn, soybean and rice. Jointly with leading partners in the
seed industry BASF Plant Science is commercializing its products.
Current projects include higher yielding row crops or higher content
of specific Omega-3's (EPA / DHA) in oil crops for preventing
cardiovascular diseases. Further information on BASF Plant Science is
available on the Internet at www.basf.com/plantscience.
Phone: +49 621 60-99123
Phone: +49 621-28574
Phone: +1 919 314-4015
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