BASF is slashing the size of its plant biotechnology unit in half, and layoffs will hit the BASF operation in Research Triangle Park.

The company, which is based in Germany, said it was cutting 350 of the 700 jobs in the group.

According to news reports, some 140 cuts will be made in North America with some 100 occurring among 350 employees in RTP.

In 2013, BASF said it would invest $33 million in expanding its RTP operations and relocated jobs to the Park operation.

The cuts are expected to be finished by the end of the year.

BASF announced the reductions early Thursday.

The company spends some $165 million a year on plant research, according to Reuters.

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