Bayer CropScience License Performance Plants' HDT™ Technology for Cotton Yield Improvement

Bayer CropScience License Performance Plants' HDT™ Technology for Cotton

Combined stress of heat and drought triggers multiple-folds of higher damage in crop productivity than a single stress.  The improvement of dual stress tolerance to heat and drought in crop plants has become a top priority for the development of agricultural biotechnology.  

Kingston, Ontario— December 16, 2011 — Performance Plants Inc. (PPI), a leading global agricultural biotechnology company and Bayer CropScience AG. (Bayer) (Monheim, Germany), have entered into a research and commercial license agreement, giving Bayer exclusive rights for PPI's Heat & Drought Tolerance Technology (HDT™) in cotton.  Bayer will leverage PPI's breakthrough HDT™ technology, which preserves yield by enhancing plants’ tolerance to heat, drought or combined stresses.  HDT™ plants achieved significantly higher yields when faced with dry and hot periods at the yield determining stages of growth.  

This is the second research and commercial agreement both companies have entered into with each other within the last two years.  In 2009, Bayer licensed PPI’s innovative and leading Yield Protection Technology (YPT®) for their product development and commercialization of drought tolerant cotton.  YPT® offers protection against yield losses sustained under suboptimal rainfall or irrigation without yield drag under well-watered growing conditions.   

All PPI technologies target different mechanisms such as heat and drought tolerance, water use efficiency, seed yield improvement, and biomass enhancement. Due to this diverse range, PPI’s biotech traits can be combined or stacked into a single plant variety for genetic and agronomic improvements of all staple crops.

PPI recently signed a commercial license agreement with  Biocentury Transgene (China) Co. Ltd. (Biocentury), giving the company exclusive rights for HDT™ to develop cotton plants with improved lint  yield and quality in China.  Coupled with the licensing agreement with Bayer, PPI has effectively expanded beyond its historic target markets of agri-food and biofuel into the consumer market sector. 

PPI also signed a memorandum of understanding with Shaanxi Hybrid Rapeseed Research Center of China last month to co-develop high yielding rapeseeds.  In July, 2011, PPI signed a commercial licensing agreement in corn and a four year R&D agreement in rice and soybean with a leading Chinese agricultural company, Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group Co. Ltd.. These agreements involve broad R&D collaboration and commercial application of multiple PPI technologies.

"At Performance Plants, we strive to be a leading developer and provider of superior ag-biotechnology traits for crop improvement world-wide.  HDT™ is our new, ground-breaking genetic technology that assures crop yields under climate variability.  I am pleased to see Bayer CropScience continue to adopt our technologies, and believe that these technologies will make significant impacts on enhancing their cotton quality and yield, especially in farm lands that frequently suffer heat and drought stresses,” said Dr. Yafan Huang, President & Chief Scientific Officer of PPI.

“We’re pleased to be extending our research collaboration with Performance Plants as a partner in developing the drought tolerance in cotton,” said Dr. Frank Schmidt, Head of Research BioScience for Bayer CropScience. “We anticipate that Performance Plants’ innovative technology will contribute to further strengthening our leadership position in the global cotton market, especially with regard to ensuring higher yields in difficult climatic conditions. Their technology fits well with our strategy to explore multiple approaches to drought tolerance in order to bring the most effective, high-performance trait solutions to market to help farmers tackle this global challenge.”

About Performance Plants Inc. - www.performanceplants.com
Performance Plants Inc. is a global leader in discovery and development of second-generation agricultural biotechnologies. The company's patented technologies enhance plant productivity (including seed yield and plant biomass) and weatherproof food and non-food biofuel crops through periods of drought and heat stresses resulting in a more abundant, consistent and cost-effective harvests for farmers. The company has a robust gene-discovery & technology evaluation pipeline, and has licensed multiple breakthrough technologies to many worlds’ leading seed companies.  The privately-held Canadian company is headquartered with R&D facilities in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.  

About Bayer CropScience  - www.bayercropscience.com
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of EUR 6.830 billion (2010), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and traits. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global workforce of 20,700 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at: www.press.bayercropscience.com.

Contact:
Performance Plants: 
Paige Talledo, Tel. 1-613-545-0390
Email: talledop@performanceplants.com

Bayer CropScience: 
Richard Breum, Tel. +49 2173 38-3270
Email: richard.breum@bayer.com