DuPont and the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics Expand Collaboration

Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:00pm EST

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DuPont and the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics Expand Collaboration

Agreement Will Increase Efforts to Improve Productivity in Wheat and Other Crops

PR Newswire

DES MOINES, Iowa and ADELAIDE, Australia, Feb. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- DuPont and the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG) today announced they have expanded their long-standing research collaboration to increase research scale on improving the overall productivity of wheat, as well as other crops.

The expanded program brings a new focus on advanced cereal breeding through molecular markers, discovery research for agronomic traits and hybrid seed production in wheat.  In addition, the collaboration will continue working toward agronomic traits to increase drought tolerance and decrease the need for soil-applied nitrogen fertilizer in leading production crops, including corn, soybeans, canola, rice and sorghum.  Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"It's critical that we increase our efforts to grow global food production to meet the needs of our growing population," said Paul E. Schickler, president of Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business.  "ACPFG is an industry leader in wheat research and development, and this collaboration will strengthen our ability to bring high-yielding wheat products to farmers worldwide."

Pioneer Hi-Bred and ACPFG have been in collaboration since 2005 to discover and develop traits for yield enhancement and stability in a number of major crops.  They extended their agreement in 2010 after continued progress toward this goal and are expanding the collaboration to include a new focus on wheat.

"A core role for ACPFG is to help ensure Australian producers benefit from local and international technology developments.  We do this through developing new technologies and working with the very best research and commercialization groups," said Peter Langridge, ACPFG research leader.  "The support of the Federal and South Australian governments has allowed us to develop our significant research capability.  Collaborating with Pioneer, a leader in plant genetics, provides the opportunity to tap into the global agriculture network and stay at the forefront of development."

Wheat is the largest acreage crop in the world. It is the staple food for 35 percent of the world's population and represents 20 percent of the total protein intake.  For more than 40 years, Pioneer has bred leading wheat varieties in the United States to increase harvestable yield and yield stability, and is the market leader in the soft winter wheat segment.

DuPont is committed to increasing global food production as the population approaches 9 billion by 2050, and recently announced food security goals to help meet this need.  This collaboration is another example of DuPont responding to the global hunger challenge.

ACPFG was established in 2003 by the South Australian government and the Australian federal government through the Australian Research Council and the Grains Research and Development Corporation.  ACPFG scientists improve cereal crops' tolerance to environmental stresses such as drought, heat, salinity and nutrient toxicities; major causes of yield and quality loss throughout the world and significant problems for cereal growers. The future resilience of our food production systems in the face of a changing climate will depend upon the development and delivery of new technologies.  For more information about ACPFG please visit www.acpfg.com.au.

Pioneer Hi-Bred (www.pioneer.com), a DuPont business headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, is the world's leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere. Science with Service Delivering Success™.

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802.  The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment.  For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit www.dupont.com.

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SOURCE DuPont

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