Bayer CropScience has signed two new agreements with Cellectis plant sciences (New Brighton, Minn.) on gene editing in plants. The agreements extend the companies’ existing partnership to introduce targeted modifications to selected plant genes and genomes. The financial terms of these agreements are not disclosed.

The first aim of this extended partnership is to collaboratively create commercial traits for the canola seed market using new technologies developed by Cellectis plant sciences. The second aim is to provide Bayer with access to technologies that enable the directed engineering of plant genomes, such as gene stacking and targeted mutagenesis, for the development of improved crops.

"These novel technologies work efficiently in plant cells and will be an important tool to improve crops," said Catherine Feuillet, Head of Trait Research at Bayer CropScience. "They facilitate the creation of specific modifications in the plant genome or genes and thus minimize the genetic footprint left behind."

"These new agreements position Cellectis plant sciences as a key partner for Bayer CropScience," commented Luc Mathis, CEO of Cellectis plant sciences. "Following the technical success we have achieved with all our programs in potatoes and oil crops, such as soybean and canola, the development of new commercial products relevant for the food industry has become the focus of our company."