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Multi-million dollar collaboration furthers advancement of short-stature corn

Food and agriculture company, Pairwise and German multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, Bayer announced a new five-year multi-million dollar agreement to focus on optimising and enhancing gene-edited short-stature corn for future use in Bayer’s Preceon Smart Corn System

Short-stature corn – with a targeted height of 30-40% less than traditional corn – is an innovative new approach to growing corn and offers a number of sustainability benefits, including protections from crop loss due to increasingly severe weather events and extreme winds brought about by climate change. In addition, it also allows for more precise application of inputs throughout the growing season, sustainably growing more through reduced risk of crop loss.

This new programme leverages Pairwise’s Fulcrum platform and builds on the success of the companies’ initial five-year collaboration for corn, soy, wheat, cotton, and canola, that concluded in June 2023. Custom gene editing tools developed by Pairwise for the initial collaboration will also be used in the new collaboration focused on advancing short-stature corn.

“Pairwise’s proprietary base editing tools allow for specific changes at virtually any location in the genome, which has the potential to make targeted and much needed improvements in agriculture,” said Bob Reiter, head of R&D at Bayer’s Crop Science Division. “These kinds of new genomic techniques are extraordinarily focused and produce results much more quickly and precisely than the conventional breeding process, ensuring that we can accelerate the delivery of solutions that growers need.”

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