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Bayer CropScience first to sequence the entire genome of rapeseed/canola


Milestone will result in speeding up of research and breeding programs

Monheim – Bayer CropScience announced today that it has sequenced the entire genome of rapeseed/canola (Brassica napus) and its constituent genomes present in Brassica rapa and Brassica oleracea. This provides Bayer with a unique level of insight into the previously unknown genetic code of canola. Rapeseed/canola is the second largest oilseed crop after soybeans, accounting for approximately 15 percent of world production.

The Bayer CropScience sequencing project was a collaboration with several parties. The Beijing Genomics Institute-Shenzhen (BGI-Shenzhen, China), provided Bayer with a high-density, fully assembled and annotated sequence of a Brassica rapa and a Brassica oleracea line. Both lines were made available by Bayer. Complementary genome sequence data sets of an elite proprietary Bayer CropScience Brassica napus parental line were provided by Keygene N.V. (The Netherlands), and the University of Queensland (Australia). These data were assembled and now form the basis of Bayer’s functional sequenced rapeseed genome.

The respective sequences have immediate applications such as “in silico” gene copy identification and isolation for use in both Bayer’s GM and non-GM trait development platforms. They also allow rapid and precise chromosome positioning of GM trait events. Furthermore, the genome sequences provide an excellent discovery tool for mining novel genes and pathways and serve as references for the re-sequencing of relevant breeding lines used in advanced molecular breeding applications. Finally, Bayer will leverage this proprietary knowledge in future strategic research collaborations focusing on agronomic trait discovery and metabolic enhancement of oil content and composition.

"This milestone achievement demonstrates Bayer’s ongoing commitment to be a leader in the rapeseed crop production business,” said Bart Lambert, Head of Research for Oilseeds at Bayer CropScience, Gent, Belgium. “This will allow us to speed up our current research and breeding programs so that these will bring new technology and better products to growers much sooner. Not only does this mean faster and more efficient development, it also allows us to explore many more innovative ideas which will continue to enhance the value of rapeseed/canola as a crop.”

About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience AG, a subsidiary of Bayer AG with annual sales of about EUR 6.4 billion (2008), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and plant biotechnology. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global workforce of more than 18,000 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at:

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This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.


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