AVEBE and BASF Plant Science start R&D cooperation on genetically optimized amylopectin starch potatoes
* Goal is a more sustainable production of starch potatoes and starch processing
* Joint development of fungal resistant amylopectin starch potatoes for European farmers
Foxhol, the Netherlands and Limburgerhof, Germany – The potato starch manufacturer AVEBE and the plant biotechnology company BASF Plant Science announced today a research and development alliance in plant biotechnology. T he companies are combining their competencies in biotechnology discovery and genetically modified potato breeding with the aim of bringing farmers modern and fungal resistant starch potato varieties. They will start developing a late blight resistant amylopectin starch potato. Late blight is a serious problem in potato farming in Europe. The companies expect the first varieties to be available on the market by 2019 onwards. Financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed.
“Innovation is of major importance to AVEBE and is a crucial part of our strategy. The use of biotechnology offers new possibilities for the development of crops with better composition and starch content as well as resistance against diseases,” said Gerben Meursing, Managing Director of Commerce from AVEBE. “Higher yields per hectare and a better control of fungal diseases will lead to a more sustainable production of starch potatoes and starch processing,” he added.
"We are proud to partner with the world´s leading potato starch company. This cooperation ensures European potato farmers the access to best traits,” said Marc Ehrhardt, Senior Vice President, BASF Plant Science. “The cooperation underlines our strategy and our aim to increase efficiency in farming by bringing BASF’s competence in plant biotechnology to farmers around the world in cooperation with the best partners.”
Both companies will bring in their know-how in the field of developing genetically modified amylopectin potato varieties. The companies complement each other with BASF Plant Science providing the regulatory approval experience and AVEBE contributing its breeding and starch application development expertise.
About genetically modified amylopectin starch potatoes
Conventional potatoes produce a mixture of amylopectin and amylose starch. For many technical applications, such as in the paper, textile and adhesives industries, only amylopectin starch is needed. Separating the two starch components is uneconomical and environmental unfriendly. After having switched off the gene for the production of amylose, the amylopectin starch potato produces pure amylopectin starch and thus helps to save resources, energy and costs.
In addition, the resistance against major potato diseases such as late blight caused by Phytophthora infestans will lead to a better control of fungal diseases and thereby reduce the production costs of amylopectin starch further.
AVEBE is the leading global potato starch company. The company creates and markets starch-based solutions for food, feed, paper, building, textiles and adhesives industries. Potato starch is a renewable resource with unique properties and a huge potential for innovation. AVEBE is dedicated to use this potential and to add value for its customers by continuously improving existing starch applications and by creating new starch ingredients to help its customers innovate their products. AVEBE operates worldwide, has production locations in the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden, and employs some 1300 people. For more information, visit www.avebe.com.
About BASF Plant Science
BASF Plant Science – a BASF group company – is one of the world’s leading companies providing innovative plant biotechnology solutions for agriculture. Today, about 700 employees are helping farmers meet the growing demand for improved agricultural productivity and healthier nutrition for humans and animals. BASF Plant Science has developed an unparalleled gene discovery platform focusing on yield and quality traits in crops such as corn, soybean and rice. Jointly with leading partners in the seed industry BASF Plant Science is commercialising its products. For more information, visit www.basf.com/plantscience.
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