BASF Plant Science and Crop Functional Genomics

By Redazione

BASF Plant Science and Crop Functional Genomics Center (CFGC), the leading Korean consortium for crop research, today (October 4, 2007) signed a coopera-tion and licensing agreement in Seoul,
South Korea. The agreement includes the discoveries by 200 top researchers from 40 renowned research institutes over 10 years.

The deal focuses on plant traits, which can increase yield and improve stress tol-erance in major crops such as rice and corn. CFGC will contribute discovery work with genes that have shown
“proof of concept” (proven practical results), while BASF Plant Science will be responsible for the further analysis and development of the genes. CFGC will grant BASF Plant Science exclusive
licensing rights in important staple crops like rice and corn outside of South Korea, while CFGC will maintain all licensing rights within the Republic of Korea. Financial details of the
agreement have not been disclosed.

“The agreement is a win-win situation,” said Dr. Martin Brudermüller, member of BASF’s Board of Executive Directors. “CFGC has found exciting genes in impor-tant crops and BASF Plant
Science has the platform and network to analyze and commercialize final products.”

“Thanks to the support of the Korean Ministry of Science and Technology and its firm belief in plant biotechnology, our researchers have been able to identify highly interesting genes. Today’s
announcement is evidence for the impressive achievements of Korean biotechnology research,” said Professor Yang Do Choi, Director of CFGC. “BASF has an unmatched discovery and development
plat-form that enables us to acquire a deep insight into how our genes are linked to the entire metabolic profiles of a plant and, at a later stage, incorporate the genes in crops that will be
brought to market.”

At BASF Plant Science’s technology platform, CFGC genes will be systematically validated in a unique high-throughput screening system that looks at different pa-rameters for agricultural
performance such as number and size of seeds, bio-mass and density of roots. The genes will also be analyzed for their metabolic profiling; i.e. the genes’ functions and interdependency will be

Dr. Brudermüller added that South Korea is one of many Asian countries that ac-knowledge the importance of plant biotechnology in the 21st century and is com-mitted to building world-class
competencies in the field. “BASF Plant Science recognizes the high quality of work carried out by research institutes in Asia-Pacific and has entered into a number of cooperative ventures,
including a high-yield wheat project with Australian Molecular Plant Breeding Cooperative Re-search Centre (MPBCRC).”

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