Monsanto has decided to incorporate genes confirmed as “hits” by Paradigm Genetics testing in efforts to improve corn and soybean production.
Monsanto is in the process of seeking regulatory approval for the world’s first genetically modified wheat. Its Roundup Ready wheat has generated concerns because of worldwide resistance to genetically altered foods. Groups in Canada and the United States have filed protests against the wheat, but Monsanto reiterated Tuesday its intention to move ahead. “People want to know it is safe,” Michael Doane, a spokesperson for Monsanto, told Reuters. “We’re going to stay on course and continue to look for those regulatory approvals.”
In a statement Tuesday, Paradigm and Monsanto said the corn and soybean genes could improve growth rates and stress resistance in crops.
The genes were identified through Paradigm’s GeneFunction Factory. Paradigm is analyzing thousands of genes in search of genes that can affect agronomic traits.
Paradigm’s chief executive officer, Heinrich Gugger, praised Monsanto’s decision as being a “tremendous success” for Paradigm.
“Now that Monsanto is incorporating genes analyzed by Paradigm into its crop trait pipeline, the potential for the commercial value of our research has greatly increased,” Gugger said in a statement.
Stephen Padgette, vice president of biotechnology for Monsanto, said the company is “very pleased with the results from Paradigm’s research and the success of our collaboration thus far.”
The announcement helped drive up Paradigm’s stock 14 cents on Tuesday to close at $1.22.