Monsanto and 2Blades to battle corn diseases

by Eric Schroeder
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Diana Horvath, president of 2Blades, said the new partnership with Monsanto will look to create genetic solutions for a difficult set of diseases that causes significant yield loss in corn.
Photo courtesy of Adobe stock.
 
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, U.S. — Monsanto Co. has teamed up with Evanston, Illinois, U.S.-based 2Blades Foundation (2Blades) to search for ways to discover novel sources of genetic resistance to devastating corn diseases. Once identified, 2Blades is expected to deliver the resistance genes in collaboration with The Sainsbury Laboratory (Norwich, U.K.), a global institute for research on plant-pathogen interactions and long-term partner of 2Blades.

“Mid- and late-season corn disease complexes such as stalk and ear rots are among the most significant corn diseases and are endemic across many major growing regions, with the potential to cause significant yield losses,” said Tom Adams, biotechnology lead at Monsanto. “With few effective treatment options or resistant hybrids available, developing new solutions is critical, and this collaboration will help bring much-needed disease-resistance solutions to corn farmers.”

2Blades
Diana Horvath, president of 2Blades. Photo courtesy of 2Blades.

Diana Horvath, president of 2Blades, said the new partnership with Monsanto will look to create genetic solutions for a difficult set of diseases that causes significant yield loss in corn.

“The combination of The Sainsbury Laboratory’s extensive expertise in the molecular basis of plant disease, 2Blades’ proficiency in managing the discovery and advancement of plant disease resistance, and Monsanto’s proven ability to deliver products to farmers provide a strong foundation for producing new genetic solutions for corn diseases,” Hovarth said.

“The Sainsbury Laboratory’s dual mission is to carry out fundamental research and to capitalize on these discoveries to reduce crop losses to important diseases,” said Cyril Zipfel, head of The Sainsbury Laboratory. “This collaboration allows us to address important crop problems with a partner that can bring the solutions to market.”

The collaboration compliments Monsanto’s work to discover and develop products that help farmers protect yield with broad-spectrum and durable disease control against economically-important broad acre diseases. 2Blades said it retains the rights to deploy new leads arising from the program in crops for subsistence agriculture.

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