DuPont and the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics Expand Collaboration

DuPont News, March 1, 2012
Image of a single wheat
Close up of a single head of wheat


DuPont and the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG) recently announced an expansion of their long-standing research collaboration on improving the overall productivity of wheat and other crops.

The expanded program brings a new focus on advanced cereal breeding through molecular markers, discovery research for agronomic traits and hybrid seed production in wheat.  In addition, the collaboration will continue working toward agronomic traits to increase drought tolerance and decrease the need for soil-applied nitrogen fertilizer in leading production crops, including corn, soybeans, canola, rice and sorghum.

“It’s critical that we increase our efforts to grow global food production to meet the needs of our growing population,” said Paul Schickler, president of DuPont Pioneer.  “ACPFG is an industry leader in wheat research and development, and this collaboration will strengthen our ability to bring high-yielding wheat products to farmers worldwide.”

“A core role for ACPFG is to help ensure Australian producers benefit from local and international technology developments.  We do this through developing new technologies and working with the very best research and commercialization groups,” said Peter Langridge, ACPFG research leader.  “The support of the Federal and South Australian governments has allowed us to develop our significant research capability.  Collaborating with Pioneer, a leader in plant genetics, provides the opportunity to tap into the global agriculture network and stay at the forefront of development.”

DuPont Pioneer and ACPFG have been working together since 2005 to discover and develop traits for yield enhancement and stability in a number of major crops.  They extended their agreement in 2010 after continued progress toward this goal and are expanding the collaboration to include a new focus on wheat.

The world’s largest acreage crop, wheat is the staple food for 35 percent of the world’s population and represents 20 percent of the total protein intake.  For more than 40 years, Pioneer has bred leading wheat varieties in the United States to increase harvestable yield and yield stability, and is the market leader in the soft winter wheat segment.

ACPFG was established in 2003 by the South Australian government and the Australian federal government through the Australian Research Council and the Grains Research and Development Corporation.  ACPFG scientists improve cereal crops’ tolerance to environmental stresses such as drought, heat, salinity and nutrient toxicities--major causes of yield and quality loss throughout the world and significant problems for cereal growers.

View the news release.