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DuPont, Two Blades Collaborate on Soybean Resistance to ASR

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – DuPont Pioneer and the Two Blades Foundation today announced a research collaboration to develop soybean varieties with greater resistance to Asian Soybean Rust.

The deal is focused on identifying novel genes that could lead to greater resistance to ASR in soybeans. The disease, which is caused by fungi, reduces seed quality and soybean yield, the partners said, adding that current screening of soybean germplasm for durable and race-independent resistance to ASR has been unsuccessful.

Under the terms of the agreement, Pioneer will use identified novel ASR resistance genes in breeding programs to develop soybean varieties "that minimize grower losses" from ASR.

The deal builds on a joint program with the Universidade Federal de Viçosa in Minas Gerais, Brazil, and the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, UK to identify new resistance genes that may have use in controlling ASR in soybeans. Two Blades leads the project.

"Our collaboration with Two Blades Foundation, The Sainsbury Lab and DuPont Pioneer strengthens the possibility to provide growers with alternatives to diminish the economic impact of the disease, which in Brazil alone is estimated at $1.7 billion for the 2013-2014 growing season," Sergio Brommonschenkel, a professor at the Universidade Federal de Viçosa, said in a statement.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.