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New Collaboration Aims To Expand Seed-Based Technologies, Benefit Farmers
Date:1/27/2009

ST. LOUIS and DURHAM, N.C., Jan. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- As farmers look to get more out of each acre of farmland, St. Louis-based Monsanto (NYSE: MON) is exploring unique ways to discover and deliver more desirable traits through the seed. Monsanto's new collaboration with GrassRoots Biotechnology Inc. is expected to do just that by expanding the benefits of Monsanto's research and product portfolio for its farmer customer.

Today, Monsanto announced that it has established a three-year collaboration with GrassRoots Biotechnology Inc., based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, to source novel genetic elements, including promoters and genes, which can enable crops to express traits that enhance and protect yield.

Promoters are segments of DNA that determine when and where a trait is expressed within a plant. Monsanto will use the promoters sourced from GrassRoots in a broad range of crops, including corn, soy, cotton and canola, to optimize an array of biotechnology traits.

GrassRoots is a start-up company co-founded by Duke University professor, Philip Benfey, a leader in plant biology research. GrassRoots uses a variety of methods, including computational approaches, to identify promoter candidates. Once specific promoter sequences are identified, the information can be further used to design novel promoters for the expression of desirable traits in plants.

"The availability of high-quality promoters with specific expression patterns for use in commercial products is limited, so there is value in developing novel promoters to drive new traits," said Steve Padgette, vice president of biotechnology for Monsanto.

"A robust promoter toolbox can further leverage Monsanto's extensive gene library and lead to the development of more biotechnology-based cro
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SOURCE Monsanto Company
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