Benson Hill Biosystems, an agricultural biotechnology company, and CTC - Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira, a market leader in Brazilian sugarcane, announced the establishment of a partnership to develop and commercialize traits to increase sugarcane crop yield.

The partnership will involve translation of Benson Hill’s technology from its Setaria viridis model plant platform to CTC’s commercial sugarcane varieties for further development and commercialization.

“Increasing crop yields by improving photosynthesis has the potential to significantly alter the Brazilian sugarcane market,” said William Burnquist, CTC’s director of research and development. “Benson Hill’s focus and capabilities in photosynthesis trait discovery and development make them the ideal partner in this category. We are very pleased to be working together and to look forward to incorporating these promising technologies in our pipeline.”

Sugarcane is grown on more than 9 million hectares in Brazil with a typical five-year crop cycle producing more than 400 metric tons of biomass per hectare. Despite its immense economic importance to the bioenergy sector and for worldwide sugar production, increasing the intrinsic yield of this crop has been unaddressed by biotechnology, the most adopted technology in modern agriculture.

“CTC has a track record of providing to growers higher-yield sugarcane varieties, and this relationship affords us an ideal channel to the largest sugarcane market in the world,” said Matthew Crisp, president and CEO of Benson Hill Biosystems. “This organization has the vision, aptitude, commitment, and zeal to leverage innovations from small companies like Benson Hill to deliver value and increase sustainability for its stakeholders. We look forward to a productive and long-term partnership.”