- Recent study illustrates first example of drought tolerance in corn with CRISPR-Cas
- Four published CRISPR-Cas papers for DuPont Pioneer within the past 12 months
- DuPont Pioneer seeking to collaborate to further scientific progress and wider adoption of CRISPR-Cas
DuPont Pioneer researchers are reporting the results of scientific studies demonstrating the potential of CRISPR-Cas as an advanced plant breeding technology to increase the productivity and sustainability of agricultural products. This week, Plant Biotechnology Journal features a Pioneer manuscript describing the first application of CRISPR-Cas to improve a corn plant's own ability to withstand drought stress.
"Rapid population growth coupled with limited resources and climate change requires innovation to keep pace at a similarly rapid rate," said Neal Gutterson, vice president, Research & Development, DuPont Pioneer. "DuPont Pioneer scientists are working hard to improve the efficiency with which we develop robust seed products for the benefit of growers and society. CRISPR-Cas is one of the tools we're using to do just that."
CRISPR-Cas advanced plant breeding technology develops improved seeds by using the native characteristics available within the target crop. In this most recent published example, Pioneer scientists applied CRISPR-Cas to specifically edit a gene identified for its innate ability to promote drought tolerance. DuPont Pioneer field trials of the resulting elite corn hybrids exhibited an average five-bushel-per-acre increase in grain yield under water-limited stress during flowering, and no decrease in yield under optimal water availability. Additional trials are currently being conducted to determine commercial potential under a variety of environments.
Other Pioneer studies related to CRISPR-Cas advanced plant breeding published within the last 12 months include two seminal reports demonstrating the efficiency and flexibility of the CRISPR-Cas system in crop development, one in corn and one in soybean, which appeared in the same issue of Plant Physiology. Another report, "Robust Seed Systems, Emerging Technologies and Hybrid Crops for Africa ," appeared in Global Food Security.
"Our researchers are making exciting progress, and we welcome the opportunity to collaborate with others to further the science and expand the adoption of the technology across crops and geographies," Gutterson said.
Pioneer is establishing a CRISPR-Cas advanced breeding platform to develop seed products for greater environmental resiliency, productivity and sustainability. Pioneer announced earlier this year its intentions to commercialize waxy corn hybrids as its first product developed with CRISPR-Cas, pending completion of field trials and applicable regulatory reviews. The technology has applicability for all Pioneer crops of interest, including corn, soybeans, canola, wheat and rice.
DuPont Pioneer 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.
Forward-Looking Statements: This communication contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. In this context, forward-looking statements often address expected future business and financial performance and financial condition, and often contain words such as "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "believe," "seek," "see," "will," "would," "target," similar expressions, and variations or negatives of these words. Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain, such as statements about the consummation of the proposed transaction and the anticipated benefits thereof. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are based on certain assumptions and expectations of future events which may not be realized. Forward-looking statements also involve risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the company's control. Some of the important factors that could cause the company's actual results to differ materially from those projected in any such forward-looking statements are: fluctuations in energy and raw material prices; failure to develop and market new products and optimally manage product life cycles; ability to respond to market acceptance, rules, regulations and policies affecting products based on biotechnology and, in general, for products for the agriculture industry; outcome of significant litigation and environmental matters, including realization of associated indemnification assets, if any; failure to appropriately manage process safety and product stewardship issues; changes in laws and regulations or political conditions; global economic and capital markets conditions, such as inflation, interest and currency exchange rates; business or supply disruptions; security threats, such as acts of sabotage, terrorism or war, natural disasters and weather events and patterns which could affect demand as well as availability of products for the agriculture industry; ability to protect and enforce the company's intellectual property rights; successful integration of acquired businesses and separation of underperforming or non-strategic assets or businesses; and risks related to the agreement entered on December 11, 2015, with The Dow Chemical Company pursuant to which the companies have agreed to effect an all-stock merger of equals, including the completion of the proposed transaction on anticipated terms and timing, the ability to fully and timely realize the expected benefits of the proposed transaction and risks related to the intended business separations contemplated to occur after the completion of the proposed transaction. The company undertakes no duty to publicly revise or update any forward-looking statements as a result of future developments, or new information or otherwise, should circumstances change, except as otherwise required by securities and other applicable laws.