Precision Ag News 7/28

Carrie Muehling

  • A team of scientists has identified a promising resistance gene that could help fight a devastating fungus called stem rust, which attacks wheat crops and threatens global food security. The discovery, recently published in Nature Plants, also identifies a gene in the fungus that triggers this resistance in the host plant, and together these discoveries provide a pathway to help wheat growers defend against this disease.
  • Calyxt, Inc. announced the appointment of Michael A. Carr as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective July 27, 2021. Mr. Carr will also serve as a member of Calyxt’s Board of Directors. Mr. Carr was most recently the Vice President of M&A, Strategy, and Innovation at Darling Ingredients, Inc., a global developer and producer of sustainable natural ingredients and renewable energy.
  • Pivot Bio announced the close of a $430 million Series D funding led by DCVC and Temasek, bringing the total equity raised to more than $600 million. The funding will fuel the company’s accelerating release of disruptive products focused on replacing the $60 billion of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer sold each year just to sustain corn, wheat, and rice.
  • Enko, the crop health company, announced details on its partnership with Bayer to develop diverse chemistries for crop protection. Applying drug discovery approaches from pharma to crop protection will allow the companies to identify unexpected product candidates that safely target pests in new ways.
  • As Verdesian Life Sciences continues to grow in size and breadth of product and technology offerings, so, too, does the company continue to invest in the people and experts in an ever-growing portfolio. The company has added four product managers to its Global Marketing team to further support the growing Verdesian business.
  • Filipino rice consumers are close to benefiting from a provitamin A-infused rice with the approval of its commercial propagation permit. Dr. John C. de Leon, executive director of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), announced that a biosafety permit for propagating the Golden Rice was issued on July 21, 2021. Dr. Donald MacKenzie, executive director of the Institute for International Crop Improvement at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and formerly with the International Rice Research Institute, leads the regulatory component of the Healthier Rice Project that includes Golden Rice and iron and zinc biofortified rice.
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