Dow, Keygene work to improve tomatoes

by Eric Schroeder
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INDIANAPOLIS — Dow AgroSciences L.L.C., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Co., has entered a trait development agreement with Keygene N.V., Wageningen, The Netherlands, to combine experience and technologies to develop traits for improved yield in tomatoes. The partnership is expected to allow tomato growers to enhance productivity while using current growing practices.

Under the terms of the agreement, Dow AgroSciences will provide KeyGene with access to Exzact Precision Technology, its experience in targeted genome modification, and research support for use in a program focused on tomato yield enhancement. For its part, KeyGene will apply its expertise in molecular breeding, vegetable genetics and tomato protoplast technology to perform the research.

“KeyGene brings a wealth of experience in plant molecular breeding in the vegetable and ornamentals business,” said Kay Kuenker, vice-president for new business at Dow AgroSciences. “By combining their knowledge with our Exzact Precision Technology, we have an opportunity to bring significant innovation and value to the vegetable market.”

Mark van Haaren, vice-president of business development at KeyGene, added, “The collaboration with Dow AgroSciences will allow us to benefit from our collective experience and to expedite the development of an improved tomato, thereby setting the stage for additional collaborative efforts in a number of the world’s largest vegetable crops.”

Dow AgroSciences will have exclusive rights to commercialize the resulting tomato traits and KeyGene will receive royalties from Dow AgroSciences based on sales of the improved tomato.

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