Monsanto Invests $20 Million in Integrated Technology Centers
News Nov 06, 2014
With a growing global population and increased pressures on agriculture due to climate change, farmers around the world will increasingly require a broad range of agricultural solutions to improve the on-farm potential of crops on our world’s finite farmland. Today, Monsanto Company reinforced its commitment to further improve the genetic potential of seeds by announcing a $20 million investment in integrated technology centers as part of its global breeding program. These technology centers will utilize continuing advancements in data science, genomic breeding methods and predictive analytics to further enhance seeds. This work will help farmers unlock untapped yield potential as they produce crops to help nourish our growing world.
“We are at a unique inflection point in the evolution of plant breeding where data science and predictive analytics will help to unlock previously untapped potential of plant genetics,” said Sam Eathington, Monsanto vice president of global plant breeding. “Monsanto is committed to continue to deliver new agricultural solutions through plant breeding so that farmers can keep up with the growing demands of food production in the face of population growth and climate change.”
Monsanto utilizes its broad network of breeding and field testing locations, global germplasm library and advanced technologies to develop better products for farmers. And with today’s announcement, the company highlighted its commitment to invest $20 million over the next two years to accelerate plant breeding research across integrated technology centers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota and Nebraska. These integrated technology centers will enable the company to combine some local operations, utilize new advancements and discoveries, as well as share best practices across crop research.
“Advanced plant breeding techniques and the application of data science are key elements working together to contribute to a food-secure future. And we’re scaling our breeding engine to develop products that help farmers around the world meet this challenge,” said Eathington.
In a new study in cells, University of Illinois researchers have adapted CRISPR gene-editing technology to cause the cell’s internal machinery to skip over a small portion of a gene when transcribing it into a template for protein building. This gives researchers a way not only to eliminate a mutated gene sequence, but to influence how the gene is expressed and regulated.
Researchers published today a detailed description of the complete genome of bread wheat, the world's most widely-cultivated crop. This work will pave the way for the production of wheat varieties better adapted to climate challenges, with higher yields, enhanced nutritional quality and improved sustainability.