Plastomics & Evogene’s Ag agreement target novel insect control traits for soybean

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Focusing on discovery and development of seed traits, Evogene and Ag-Seed division have announced a collaboration agreement targeting novel insect control traits for soybean

An agreement between Plastomics & Evogene targeting insect control traits for soybean. (Image source: Adobe stock)

As part of the collaboration, Plastomics will introduce Evogene’s insect control genes demonstrating new modes of action (MoAs) into soybeans. These genes, which were discovered using Evogene’s GeneRator AI engine, have demonstrated insecticidal activity in different assays to control insect colonies that are resistant and susceptible to current commercial insect solutions. 

The global market for biotech seeds is projected to reach a size of US$45bn by 2027. Biotech soybeans accounting for about 48% of the current market is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 6.7% through 2027. 

Instead of relying on nuclear transformation, which is the basis for all current biotech crops on the market, Plastomics utilises novel chloroplast transformation technology.  Taking advantage of the crop’s solar engine, the chloroplast aims to solve challenges inherent in traditional gene transfer to bring a new generation of trait benefits across the value chain, including consumers, growers and seed producers.  

Jeffrey Staub, phd, chief technology office at Plastomics, stated, We look forward to working with Evogene to develop transformative solutions for insect control in soybeans. The combination of insect control traits with novel modes of action partnered with Plastomics’ novel delivery system creates the potential for a significant and needed step change in providing growers with safe, sustainable and effective tools for insect control.

Basia Vinocur, phd, Evogene’s vice-president, R&D Ag-Seeds, said, We are very pleased to enter into this relationship with Plastomics, utilising their technology to introduce our candidate genes for insect control into crops. There is a dire need for new MoA insect control traits, and we are looking forward to addressing it through our joint efforts.

 

African Farming

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