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DuPont Inks CRISPR/Cas9 Deal With International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – DuPont Pioneer and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) have announced a collaboration to edit crop genomes using CRISPR technology.

Under the terms of the deal, the partners said they will use CRISPR to improve crops to "address the needs of smallholder farmers around the world." They have formed a steering committee to consider which projects to take on — the first will use CRISPR editing to address maize lethal necrosis disease in Sub-Saharan Africa.

"In a world of rapid technology evolution, it's essential that new approaches such as CRISPR/Cas are applied widely to benefit both poorer and wealthier farmers," CIMMYT Director General Martin Kropff said in a statement. "This collaboration with DuPont Pioneer will allow us to provide climate and disease resilient varieties more quickly to smallholder farmers in the developing world."

Based in Mexico, CIMMYT has developed wheat and corn varieties grown worldwide. "Pioneer and CIMMYT collaborations span decades and have contributed significantly to the food security and livelihoods of farmers and consumers in developing countries," the partners added.

DuPont Pioneer has licensed CRISPR intellectual property from Lithuania's Vilnius University and Caribou Biosciences.