BASF Plant Science has announced an expansion of its fungal resistance research platform by adding corn as a target crop with a main focus on yield and stress.
BASF will continue to focus on the development of crops that deliver higher yields and improved resistance to stress conditions. A key component of these activities in plant biotechnology is an industry leading collaboration with Monsanto for key row crops such as soybeans and corn. Both companies have jointly developed the first genetically modified drought tolerant corn, Genuity® DroughtGard™ Hybrids, which received approval for cultivation in the U.S. at the end of 2011 and was in Monsanto’s Ground BreakersSM trials in 2012. The full commercialization is expected in 2013/14.
“Corn production suffers from severe yield losses triggered by fungal diseases, which have not been successfully addressed by conventional breeding approaches,” said Peter Eckes, President of BASF Plant Science. “Both modern chemical crop protection and plant biotechnology can offer solutions to secure yields.”
At the same time, Eckes says that as part of a continuous review of the project portfolio for strategic fit and attainment of project milestones, BASF Plant Science will no longer pursue research and development activities into Nutritionally Enhanced Corn in the United States.