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Danforth Center to Use FuturaGene Platform for Crop Development

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Brazilian agricultural technology firm FuturaGene said today that the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center will test FuturaGene's plant yield technology on staple crops grown by farmers in Asia, Africa, and Brazil.

Under the new agreement, the St. Louis-based Danforth Center will use FuturaGene's gene discovery and yield and processability enhancement platforms to boost plant biomass levels and to develop crops that are better feedstocks.

The company, a wholly subsidiary of forestry, pulp and paper company Suzano Pulp and Paper, is headquartered in Sao Paolo and said it has already tested its technology in eucalyptus and poplar in trials around the world.

The firm's two main technology platforms were created to enhance yield during crop growth and the processability of crops after they are harvested. The technology is also directed at protecting crop yield from threats such as climate change and enabling crops to be grown on marginal land.

The Danforth Center's work is funded through grants and contract revenue from a range of sources, including the US Department of Energy, US Department of Agriculture, the National Science Foundation, the US Agency for International Development, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Howard Buffett Foundation.