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Monsanto, BASF Scientists Disclose Discovery of Gene Conferring Drought Tolerance in Corn Plants
Date:6/9/2009

in plant biotechnology between BASF and Monsanto, announced in March 2007. The two companies are jointly contributing $1.5 billion over the life of the collaboration, which is aimed at developing higher-yielding crops and crops more tolerant to adverse environmental conditions such as drought.

The first-generation product is part of a multi-generational family of biotech drought-tolerant products the companies plan to bring to market in the next decade. Both BASF and Monsanto continue to bolster the joint pipeline with other genes for drought tolerance as well as other abiotic stress tolerance traits. Among them is the second-generation drought-tolerant corn, currently in Phase 2 - which consists of laboratory and field testing.

Monsanto decided to collaborate with BASF because the company is excellently positioned to provide traits as a series of successive upgrades within a particular crop. For BASF, Monsanto's track record of commercializing traits and breeding desirable germplasm ensures that BASF's innovations quickly reach the widest base of farmers.

Monsanto's discovery engine - to which the company contributes $2.6 million a day - continues to screen, evaluate and advance genes with promising yield and stress tolerance characteristics.

Monsanto's discovery engine combines cutting-edge breeding and biotechnology research using elite germplasm from around the world to deliver the best seed-based solutions for increased on-farm productivity. Drought tolerance as well as other traits in development, such as higher-yielding soybeans and disease-resistant cotton are key to meeting the company's Sustainable Yield Commitment. In 2008, Monsanto pledged to double yields in its three core crops - corn, cotton and soybeans - by 2030 compared to a base year of 2000 - while also working to conserve resources such as water, land and energy, required to produce each unit.

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