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Bayer sets up European wheat breeding centerqrcode

Dec. 2, 2011

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Dec. 2, 2011

Bayer CropScience will establish its European Wheat Breeding Center in Gatersleben (Saxony-Anhalt, Germany) starting December 1. Besides the development of new wheat varieties with higher yields and improved properties for the Central European market, the new center will also coordinate all of Bayer's wheat-breeding activities in Europe. A rental agreement for laboratory and greenhouse facilities has been signed with Biotechpark Gatersleben Infrastruktur GmbH. Up to 40 full-time employees will work at the Center in the future. Financial details have not been disclosed.

The Center will be part of Bayer CropScience's global network of wheat-breeding stations. Another center focused on North America is currently being set up in the vicinity of Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. Additional stations are planned in Europe and Australia with further expansion in Asia and Latin America in the medium term.

A network of alliances with leading international research institutions is also currently being formed to apply the latest advancements in plant biotechnology to wheat research and breeding and thus accelerate variety development process.

"Bayer CropScience recognizes that wheat farmers need to improve yields to stay competitive and meet global demands. Our experienced team at the new European Wheat Breeding Center will be able to deliver first-class varieties of wheat adapted to European growing conditions. These new varieties together with our leading crop protection portfolio will enable us to provide solutions supporting a sustainable wheat production from seed to harvest,” said Dr. Mathias Kremer, Head of BioScience at Bayer CropScience. “We are pleased to have found the ideal environment and infrastructure in Biotechpark Gatersleben for our breeding center.”
The Minister for Science and Economy in Saxony-Anhalt, Birgitta Wolff, explained: “The establishment of Bayer CropScience’s Wheat Breeding Center in Gatersleben is a substantial backing for plant biotechnology in Saxony-Anhalt. This technology is an important cornerstone for the further economical development of the state.”

Gatersleben is one of the most important international centers of crop research in Europe. Biotechpark is part of a biotechnology initiative launched by the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. It shares a campus with the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK).

Important facts about wheat:

About 25 percent of the world's agricultural land is used to grow wheat, making wheat the most widely grown crop on the planet. In terms of cereal production volumes, wheat ranks second behind corn, with more than 650 million tons produced yearly. Wheat productivity is growing at a rate of less than one percent annually, while the global demand is increasing twice as fast. Main wheat producing regions are Australia, the Black Sea Region, China, the EU, India and North America.


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