We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with others to realize the full potential of CRISPR for agriculture across all crops and geographies.
Corteva is working with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) to jointly develop improved crops using CRISPR.
Our first project will apply CRISPR to address maize lethal necrosis disease in sub-Saharan Africa. This disease has reduced maize production on some farms by up to 90 percent. CRISPR can provide climate- and disease-resilient corn varieties to the communities who need them.
Rice is the world’s most important staple food, directly feeding more than any other crop. To meet the demand of a growing global population, rice production needs to dramatically increase by 25 percent over the next 25 years. Yet increased competition for dwindling resources such as land and water, unpredictable climates, farm labor shortages and lack of technical expertise are some of the issues threatening the future of rice.
Corteva and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) have launched a multi-year framework agreement to collaborate on rice research, deployment of new breeding technologies and development of breeding programs. The agreement provides both parties with access to advanced technologies, including IRRI’s germplasm, hybrid and inbred rice programs and Corteva’s precision breeding technologies. The partnership seeks to improve the genetic outcomes of breeding programs, encourage sustainable rice cultivation, and develop new rice varieties which deliver higher yields and are more resilient against biotic and abiotic stresses.
Corteva and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (Danforth Center) have entered into a multiyear public/private partnership, including licensing and research collaboration agreements, with the goal of jointly developing improved food security crops. Through access to Corteva’s intellectual property, technology capabilities and scientific expertise provided by the agreement, the Danforth Center is applying CRISPR technology to staple food crops such as cassava and sorghum to produce planting materials with improved disease resistance, nutritional value and enhanced resilience to biotic stresses. Gene editing also is being employed as a powerful tool to increase understanding of the biology of these underserved, but vital crop plants. Through collaboration with African scientists, the Danforth Center is committed to delivering the benefits of gene editing to farmers and breeders in Africa, and combining developmental genes with CRISPR will significantly accelerate these efforts.
The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and Corteva inked a multiyear partnership to strengthen food security by improving crops that feed millions through sharing of high-tech and modern breeding technologies. The technology sharing includes CRISPR, adapting transformation techniques to new crops, and applying knowledge of plant biochemical pathways with the goal of productivity and quality improvements. The plan to work together on crops such as sorghum and millet was solidified at a meeting during the 2017 World Food Prize where ICRISAT Director General David Bergvinson and Tom Greene of Corteva outlined general research concepts, targets and available technology that would help drive solutions.
The J.R. Simplot Company executed a joint intellectual property licensing agreement with Corteva and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for CRISPR gene editing tools. The technology provides Simplot with another avenue to bring desirable traits forward in fruits and vegetables such as potatoes, avocados and strawberries. Each year, 35 percent of fresh potatoes worth $1.7 billion are lost because of waste from poor storage or shelf life according to the Journal of Consumer Affairs. Avocados, strawberries and other fruits and vegetables have similar losses. Using gene editing technology such as CRISPR, bruising and browning of potatoes can be reduced, eliminating some of the 3.6 billion lbs. of potato food waste each year.
Amfora reached a non-exclusive research and commercial license agreement with Corteva and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to use CRISPR intellectual property to develop a portfolio of gene-edited crops with increased protein content. One of the earliest opportunities Amfora is focused on is the development of high-protein feed for aquaculture to reduce the financial and environmental cost of feed for fish. Aquaculture is unique in animal agriculture because plant feed protein is efficiently converted into an equivalent amount of fish protein. Amfora’s first food products will be high-protein wheat and high-protein rice, staple crops that feed a majority of the world’s population. Increasing the protein content of crops like wheat and rice reduces their starch content, which not only provides a way to address the growing consumer demand for plant-based protein but may help control consumers’ blood sugar levels by reducing the glycemic response.
Yield10 Bioscience signed a non-exclusive research license agreement jointly with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Corteva for use of CRISPR to evaluate seed yield, oil content yield and drought tolerance traits deployed in key agricultural crops. Yield10 is working to deploy several novel yield, oil content and drought tolerance traits using CRISPR in plants such as Camelina, canola, soybean and rice.
BioResource International, Inc., a global biotechnology company specializing in the research, development and manufacture of high-performance enzyme feed additives for optimizing animal nutrition and gut health, licensed CRISPR technology from The Broad Institute and Corteva. Use of the technology can allow BRI to speed up the development of bacterial strains used to produce feed enzymes, replacing processes that once took several months to complete.