The global seed market is valued at $37B , as of 2016, of which 53% is attributed to available biotech seeds, seeds which have been improved by gene transformation, in crops such as corn, soy and cotton. Currently available biotech seed traits capture approximately $8B and it is expected that as additional traits become available, the market may reach $14B1, thus attempting to provide a solution to improve traits such as yield, abiotic stress, disease resistance, insect control and herbicide tolerance.
As global seed companies constantly aim to reach beyond current limitations to address the world’s growing need for feed, food and fuel, Evogene forges collaborations with these global companies to discover genes and genomic elements to develop improved seed traits.
The key traits Evogene targets are:
- Improved yield
- Resistance to abiotic/environmental stress (e.g. drought…)
- Nutrient uptake (N2)
- Insect control
- Disease resistance
At Evogene, we discover and develop improved seed traits, focusing on the world’s major field crops: corn, soy, wheat, rice, cotton, canola and more. Following over a decade of discovery and research into seed traits, Evogene now aims to provide a comprehensive solution of an overall package to enhance the performance of various crops.
Evogene utilizes proprietary computational platforms: ATHLETE, Gene2Product, PlaNet NG and BiomeMiner, to identify target genes and additional genomic elements, leveraging both plant and microbial gene pools including meta-genomic approaches.
Likewise, Evogene has put into place state-of-the-art validation systems for each of its key traits, to support various product development stages. Evogene’s R&D facilities in Israel and in its St. Louis site in the US, conduct discovery and validation with multi-disciplinary scientific teams to address global agricultural challenges.
Constantly evolving innovation – Genome Editing
The next frontier in genomics value capturing, gaining high traction in multiple areas in both pharma and agriculture, is Genome Editing technology.This allows the specific modification, at the molecular level, of essentially any given genome, in a highly precise and targeted manner.
Leveraging Evogene’s unique technological infrastructure and significant accumulated Big Data, allows the company the ability to precisely identify required edits in the genome. Thereby, opening a new spectrum of opportunities for seed trait improvement.
1 Source: Phillips McDougall , 2015