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DuPont, Evogene Ink Soybean Disease Collaboration

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – DuPont and Evogene announced Monday that they will collaborate on research aimed at improving resistance to soybean rust.

DuPont's Pioneer Hi-Bred business will work with Rehovot, Israel-based Evogene on developing soybean varieties that display in-plant resistance to the fungal disease. The firms will jointly generate a genomic database tailored to soybean rust resistance. Evogene will use its Athlete computational genomic technology to identify genes that improve resistance to the disease, and Pioneer plans to evaluate the genes in transgenic soybeans.

Evotec is entitled to receive milestone payments and royalties on sales of any products that result from the collaboration. Specific financial details and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The firms said that they have received an approval in principle for partial funding of the project from the BIRD Foundation, a bi-national foundation funded by the Israeli and American governments to support cooperation in technology development.