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Evogene, DBN Collaborate on Improving Rice Traits

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Evogene and Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group today announced a collaboration to improve key rice traits.

The collaboration aims to improve uptake of fertilizer and drought tolerance in rice, which half of the world's population depends on for 80 percent of its nutrition, the partners said.

The terms of the deal call for candidate genes discovered and prioritized by Evogene to be introduced into DBN's pipeline for the development of improved rice. DBN will be granted a license to candidate genes identified and prioritized through Evogene's Athlete computational technology and validated in model plants. As part of its R&D program, DBN will introduce and develop the licensed genes. It also has the rights in China to commercialize rice incorporating these genes.

In return, Evogene is entitled to milestone payments and royalty payments based on the sale of the resulting products.

The partners said that China is the world's largest consumer and producer of rice, accounting for about 25 percent of all rice production globally.

"With China's need to support a fifth of the world's population with less than 10 percent of the world's arable land, it is clear that innovative technologies are required to minimize the gap and meet the growing demand for food," Evogene President and CEO Ofer Haviv said in a statement.