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Bayer CropScience, Australian Agencies Partner on Wheat R&D

Wheat (


Bayer CropScience in Monheim, Germany, is collaborating with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO, Australia’s science agency) and the Australian Grains Research and Development Corporation to develop new wheat varieties that produce higher yields. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

CSIRO has already designed a new higher-yielding wheat strain using genetic modification that in greenhouse tests increases yields by 30 percent. The new partnership aims to further develop the technology into practical solutions for growers.

Bruce Lee, director of CSIRO’s Food Futures Flagship initiative, anticipates the partnership will result in “more vigorous wheat with increased vegetative growth, larger seed heads, and larger seed.” Lee adds, “If we can achieve significant yield increases in the field, this will have a major impact on food production on a global scale.”

Mathias Kremer, who heads the bioscience unit at Bayer CropScience, a division of Bayer AG, calls the task faced by the partnership “a complex scientific challenge and a long road for development.” He says the company is “committed to pursuing innovation in wheat varieties that will lead to increased productivity and meet the need for sustainable solutions for wheat production ….”

Kremer adds BayerCrop Science follows industry best practices in the development and commercialization of plant biotech products, including genetically modified wheat. CSIRO notes that its research involving gene technology is performed according to Australian legislation including regulations set out by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator.

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