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BASF Plant Science and Academia Sinica (Taipei) to cooperate on gene discovery


* Focus on yield increase and stress tolerance in crops such as rice and corn

* Third plant biotech agreement by BASF Plant Science in Asia within eight months

Limburgerhof, Germany and Taipei, Taiwan.- BASF Plant Science and Academia Sinica, the leading research institute in Taiwan, today signed a cooperation agreement. Focus is on the discovery of genes that increase yield and improve stress tolerance in major crops such as rice and corn. Financial details have not been disclosed.

Within the scope of the cooperation, Academia Sinica will continue their work on the detailed functional analysis of genes in rice. BASF will evaluate genetically modified rice plants and further develop the most promising genes in rice as well as other crops. Target is to market several genetically enhanced crops with improved yield. The duration of the cooperation has initially been set for two years.

“We are impressed by the broad expertise that our partner brings to the coopera-tion,” said Dr. Jürgen Logemann, Vice President Technology Management, BASF Plant Science. “BASF was able to select those genes from preliminary studies at Academica Sinica that show the largest potential to increase and secure yield in crops.”

“We are delighted to partner with BASF Plant Science for identification of rice genes that control stress tolerance and beneficial agronomic traits through study of our gene library and database called TRIM,” said Dr. Su-May Yu of the Institute of Molecular Biology at Academia Sinica, who heads the project. TRIM stands for Taiwan Rice Insertional Mutant library and database.
“Essential genes identified during the cooperation could be used to improve yield in rice and other cereal crops such as wheat, corn, and grass species, which are very much needed in order to ensure food and bioenergy security for the rapidly growing world population,” Dr. Yu added.

After agreements with CFGC (South Korea) and NIBS (Beijing), the agreement with Academia Sinica is the third cooperation agreement that BASF Plant Sci-ence has entered within the past eight months. “BASF Plant Science highly values the quality of work carried out by research institutes in Asia-Pacific,” said Logemann.


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