BAYER CropScience has signed a wheat germplasm and technology license agreement with Kansas State University (KSU) to promote the further improvement and development of hybrid wheat production through research and education.
KSU's Wheat Genetic Resources Center (WGRC) will collaborate with Bayer CropScience to develop hybrid wheat.
"Hybrid wheat is a difficult technical challenge, but the payoff will be in a substantial potential for increased yields for growers," said Ernie Minton, associate director of research for KSU Research & Extension.
WGRC will help identify traits that are potentially useful for hybrid wheat production and that are naturally available in the center's extensive collection of grass species that are closely related to cultivated wheat.
Bayer CropScience will work with KSU researchers and scientists to develop a trait discovery pipeline for efficient hybrid wheat crop production using university's unique genetic stocks.
"Wheat is an ancient crop that has gone through much change and continues to undergo change," said John Floros, dean of the College of Agriculture and director of KSU Research & Extension. "With this agreement, our expertise in wheat genetics and genomics, combined with Bayer's global expertise and wheat leadership, will help one of the world's most important crops to advance."
The agreement allows Bayer CropScience to license KSU's germplasm and related intellectual property rights.
"We collaborate worldwide with leading institutions and universities for seeds and traits, which is especially vital to our wheat strategy," said Rick Turner, Bayer CropScience global head for wheat and oilseed seeds. "This agreement with Kansas State University gives us access to some of the best solutions available to support our research and innovation goals in cereals, and this is clearly a win-win for both the university and Bayer CropScience."
As part of the collaboration, KSU also will establish an endowed chair for wheat genetics research and breeding. The endowed chair will be named for Bikrim Gill, university distinguished professor of plant pathology and director of WGRC whose life's work has been worldwide wheat genetic improvement and distributing its genetic value to the world.