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Monsanto and Huazhong Agricultural University Enter Into Collaboration Focusing on Development of Plant Biotechnology

ST. LOUIS and BEIJING, Oct. 20, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Monsanto Company and Huazhong Agricultural University have entered into a collaboration to further the development of novel traits such as higher yield, drought resistance and nitrogen use efficiency. Monsanto will evaluate and advance certain technologies developed by Professor Qifa Zhang's research team at Huazhong Agricultural University in China.

"We're excited to be working with a prominent research team in China who has demonstrated great expertise in genomics and biotechnology discovery research," said Steve Padgette, vice president of biotechnology for Monsanto. "This collaboration will benefit both parties. Collaborations such as this allow Monsanto to help agriculture meet the challenges of providing food, fuel and fiber for a growing world population."

"Monsanto's proven ability to commercialize and market new technology could enable our research to advance from laboratory concepts to products in the world market at a much accelerated pace," said Professor Zhang, a leading scientist at Huazhong Agricultural University. "The collaboration will accelerate the step of our commitment to provide benefits to farmers and society as a whole."

China is emerging as an important place for research and development in plant biotechnology, said John McLean, general manager of Monsanto's biotechnology research center in Beijing.

"We are excited at this opportunity to build a closer relationship with Prof. Zhang and his team and be a valued partner in scientific research in China," McLean said.

In addition to today's collaboration between the parties, Monsanto previously announced that it has established a scholarship program at the university for top undergraduate students pursuing degrees in plant biotech, plant breeding, plant protection, horticulture and other agricultural disciplines. A group of 25 students have been selected to be the 2009 Monsanto scholarship recipients.

"Huazhong Agricultural University has a long history of agricultural research and training young talent," McLean said. "We believe both parties will benefit from this collaboration."

"Monsanto is a valued partner of our university," said Professor Xiuxin Deng, president of Huazhong Agricultural University. "This scholarship program along with the research collaboration is an important milestone in the cooperation between our university and Monsanto."

About Monsanto Company

Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit: Follow our business on Twitter at, on Facebook at, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.

About Huazhong Agricultural University

Located in Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei province, China, Huazhong Agricultural University has a history of over one hundred years. It is a multi-disciplinary comprehensive university giving priority to agriculture, characterized by life sciences and supplemented by the combination of agriculture, basic sciences, engineering, liberal arts, law, economic trade, and management. To learn more about Huazhong Agricultural University, please visit:

CONTACT | Riddhi Trivedi-St. Clair (314-694-4490)

SOURCE Monsanto Company

SOURCE Monsanto Company
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