Wilmington, Delaware, United States – May 17, 2021 – Dutch vegetable seed breeder Bejo has entered into a non-exclusive research and commercial license agreement with global agriculture company Corteva Agriscience and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, a U.S.-based biomedical and genomic research center.
Through the agreement, Bejo will access CRISPR-Cas9 intellectual property for genome editing for agricultural use, allowing research work and programs as well as potential future commercial applications. For the time being, however, following the development in legislation Bejo will use CRISPR-Cas9-technology for research purpose only.
Bert Schrijver, Director, Research & Development of Bejo said, “Gene editing technologies like CRISPR-Cas9 bring opportunities for accelerating Bejo’s vegetable breeding programs. They increase our understanding of genetics and provide tools to develop new traits such as abiotic stress and disease resistance. This helps farmers to grow their crops in a more sustainable way and fulfill the increasing demand for healthy vegetable production in the world.”
Bejo now has access to a wide range of genome editing tools, which will enable it to strengthen its ability to develop more efficient vegetable varieties and contribute to meeting global food and sustainability challenges. They can now deploy this technology in a wide variety of vegetable seeds, including brassicas, onions, carrots and other crops.
Sam Eathington, Chief Technology Officer, Corteva Agriscience, said: “CRISPR-Cas9 holds immense potential to make crops more nutritious, more resilient and more productive. We’re proud to enable Bejo to explore new applications of this powerful tool in vegetable crops.
“Bejo’s investment in gene editing reflects growing confidence that the European Union (EU) policy environment will continue to open, allowing farmers and consumers in the EU to benefit from this plant breeding innovation.”
Corteva Agriscience is committed to Open Innovation, and to working with the scientific community to develop innovative solutions for growers.
About Corteva Agriscience
Corteva Agriscience is a publicly traded, global pure-play agriculture company that provides farmers around the world with the most complete portfolio in the industry - including a balanced and diverse mix of seed, crop protection and digital solutions focused on maximizing productivity to enhance yield and profitability. With some of the most recognized brands in agriculture and an industry-leading product and technology pipeline well positioned to drive growth, the company is committed to working with stakeholders throughout the food system as it fulfills its promise to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come. Corteva Agriscience became an independent public company on June 1, 2019, and was previously the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. More information can be found at www.corteva.com.
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Bejo is an internationally leading company specialized in the breeding, production, processing and sales of quality vegetable seeds. With an assortment of more than 1,200 vegetable varieties, Bejo offers a complete program for all markets and a wide range of climates. The Dutch family company has expanded over the years in an organic, ongoing process, shaped by interaction between growers, dealers, supply chain partners and its own employees. All partners have the freedom, within their own local market, to get the most out of Bejo’s products. We are dedicated to offering the best service and developing the best vegetable varieties for the present and the future - Exploring nature never stops.
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József Máté, Head of Communications, Europe
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Mirjam Both, Marketing & Communication Manager
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