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MONSANTO, 2BLADES TO DEVELOP CORN RESISTANT TO DISEASES
Source: Monsanto news release

Monsanto Company and 2Blades Foundation (2Blades) have formed a collaboration to discover novel sources of genetic resistance to devastating corn diseases. 2Blades will deliver these resistance genes in collaboration with The Sainsbury Laboratory (Norwich, UK), the leading global institute for research on plant-pathogen interactions and long-term partner of 2Blades.

"Mid and late season corn disease complexes such as stalk and ear rots are among the most significant corn diseases and are endemic across many major growing regions, with the potential to cause significant yield losses," said Tom Adams, Monsanto's biotechnology lead. "With few effective treatment options or resistant hybrids available, developing new solutions is critical and this collaboration will help bring much-needed disease-resistance solutions to corn farmers."

2Blades' mission is to contribute to world-wide food security by developing crops with long-lasting resistance to pathogens in order to reduce losses due to disease. "This program aims to produce genetic solutions for a difficult set of diseases that causes significant yield loss in corn," said Diana Horvath, president of 2Blades.

"The combination of The Sainsbury Laboratory's extensive expertise in the molecular basis of plant disease, 2Blades' proficiency in managing the discovery and advancement of plant disease resistance, and Monsanto's proven ability to deliver products to farmers provide a strong foundation for producing new genetic solutions for corn diseases."

"The Sainsbury Laboratory's dual mission is to carry out fundamental research and to capitalize on these discoveries to reduce crop losses to important diseases," said Cyril Zipfel, head of The Sainsbury Laboratory. "This collaboration allows us to address important crop problems with a partner that can bring the solutions to market."

The collaboration compliments Monsanto's work to discover and develop products that help farmers protect yield with broad-spectrum and durable disease control against economically-important broad acre diseases. 2Blades retains the rights to deploy new leads arising from the program in crops for subsistence agriculture.

About Monsanto Company

Monsanto is committed to bringing a broad range of solutions to help nourish our growing world. We produce seeds for fruits, vegetables and key crops - such as corn, soybeans, and cotton - that help farmers have better harvests while using water and other important resources more efficiently. We work to find sustainable solutions for soil health, help farmers use data to improve farming practices and conserve natural resources, and provide crop protection products to minimize damage from pests and disease. Through programs and partnerships, we collaborate with farmers, researchers, nonprofit organizations, universities and others to help tackle some of the world's biggest challenges. To learn more about Monsanto, our commitments and our more than 20,000 dedicated employees, please visit: discover.monsanto.com and monsanto.com. Follow our business on Twitter® at twitter.com/MonsantoCo, on the company blog, Beyond the Rows® at monsantoblog.com or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.

About 2Blades Foundation

The 2Blades Foundation, based in Evanston, Illinois, is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to the discovery, advancement, and delivery of durable disease resistance in crops. 2Blades establishes and manages development programs addressing significant unsolved crop disease problems in collaboration with leading research institutions around the world and at the 2Blades Group in The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, UK. 2Blades manages a portfolio of specific traits and enabling technologies that it implements in its own programs and out-licenses for broad use. Visit the 2Blades website at www.2blades.org and follow 2Blades on twitter at @2blades.

About The Sainsbury Laboratory

The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) is a world-leading research centre focusing on making fundamental discoveries about plants and how they interact with microbes. TSL not only provides fundamental biological insights into plant-pathogen interactions, but is also delivering novel, genomics-based, solutions which will significantly reduce losses from major diseases of food crops, especially in developing countries. TSL is an independent charitable company and receives strategic funding from the Gatsby Charitable Foundation with the balance coming from competitive grants and contracts from a range of public and private bodies, including the European Union (EU), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and commercial and charitable organisations www.tsl.ac.uk.


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