Biogemma and Wageningen UR announce collaboration in wheat drought tolerance research
Dec. 23, 2010
Recognising the fundamental research work from the Plant Sciences Group of Wageningen UR (University & Research centre) and the applied capabilities from Biogemma, these two partners today announced a collaboration in research and development for drought tolerance in wheat.
Due to climate change and ever more limiting resources, the development of more stress resistant crops to cope with changing conditions is an important research topic for many R&D groups and Ag-Seed companies.
Biogemma CEO Pascual Perez explains: “Creating innovative GM and non GM trait solutions for our stakeholders contributing to solve global agricultural challenges is our main task. With the ever increasing emphasis on limiting water use and predicted increasingly dry summers, it is essential to improve this aspect in our main crops. The license agreement with Wageningen UR allows us to reinforce our wheat trait portfolio with a number of drought tolerance genes. Wheat is one of the world’s most important crops often grown in semi-arid conditions”.
Richard Visser, Professor in Plant Breeding at Wageningen University, added that “finding solutions to enable sustainable and high crop production under adverse conditions such as drought is a challenge and does ask for combined efforts and expertises. This license agreement between Biogemma and Wageningen UR for wheat will strengthen our collaboration and will also guarantee that the knowledge and expertise obtained in our genomics-based research programmes will be applied by the plant breeding industry.”
The agreement is built around the use of genes identified in model species for wheat. “This type of collaboration is an essential part of the Biogemma strategy, as it allows the rapid valorisation of high-grade public research and gives us a head-start in choosing the best solutions to our breeding and agronomic problems”, said Jeroen Wilmer, Biogemma licensing and portfolio manager.
The Plant Sciences Group is part of the international expertise organisation Wageningen UR (University & Research centre). Our mission is ‘To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life’. Within Wageningen UR, nine research institutes – both specialised and applied – have joined forces with Wageningen University and Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences to help answer the most important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With approximately 40 locations (in the Netherlands, Brazil and China), 6500 members of staff and 10,000 students, Wageningen UR is one of the leading organisations in its domain worldwide. The integral approach to problems and the cooperation between the exact sciences and the technological and social disciplines are at the heart of the Wageningen Approach.
Biogemma is a leading biotech company in Europe involved in Applied Genomics and GM activites in Field crops. Result of the merger of the biotech activity of three major seed companies, Vilmorin & Cie (Limagrain Group), Euralis and RAGT, with the help of two financial institutions Sofiproteol and Unigrains and the support of the technical agency Arvalis, the company is developing R&D programs with its partners, in field crops (Corn, Wheat, Sunflower and Oilseed rape), focused on yield improvement, biotic and abiotic stress resistance and specialty grain compounds.
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