Bayer Announces Two Partnerships on Wheat Research

December 17, 2010 Bookmark and Share

Bayer CropScience this week announced two new partnerships that will enhance the company’s work in conventional and genetically modified wheat research.

On Wednesday, Bayer and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln announced they have signed a non-exclusive agreement to work together on wheat breeding.

The collaboration will provide Bayer with access to UNL’s wheat germplasm, and Bayer will subsequently establish its first North American wheat breeding station near Lincoln. The company will also support wheat research and education programs at UNL and work with Nebraska farmers in seed production activities.

Additionally, the agreement will make $2 million available for an endowed professorship at UNL, named for the Nebraska Wheat Growers and for the benefit of the University’s cereal breeding faculty. UNL wheat breeder, P. Stephen Baenziger, will be the first to hold the Nebraska Wheat Growers Presidential Chair.

The announcement said the agreement will allow UNL to continue releasing varieties through existing channels and, under the agreement, both parties are free to form additional collaborative arrangements with other public or private entities.

Like agreements announced previously between Monsanto and Kansas State University and Monsanto and Virginia Tech, the Bayer-Nebraska agreement was negotiated with the input of the local growers association and in accordance with the principles for public-private collaborations approved by the NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates Joint Biotechnology Committee.

Just a few days before, Bayer had announced a new, five-year collaboration with Evogene Ltd., an Israeli plant genomics company, on wheat.

The companies said the collaboration will bring together Evogene’s genomic technologies for the identification of genetically modified and native traits and Bayer’s capabilities in breeding and product development to develop elite varieties, which Bayer will commercialize.

The collaboration will focus on yield, drought tolerance, fertilizer utilization and other characteristics in wheat.

Bayer said Evogene will receive approximately $20 million under the agreement and be eligible for further development milestone payments and royalties based on the commercialization of any resulting products.

In a separate agreement, Bayer will also make an equity investment of $12 million in Evogene.

For more on either agreement, please visit Bayer CropScience’s website at