Nemgenix Pty Ltd, an international agricultural biotechnology company developing new technologies for the control of plant parasitic nematodes and aphids, and SESVanderHave, a leading sugar beet breeding and marketing company, announced their collaboration to develop a novel nematode resistant trait for sugar beet to address the needs for a long-term resistance strategy to beet cyst nematodes (BCN).

“Nematodes are devastating root pathogens which can cause considerable losses to the sugar beet crop,” said Marc Lefebvre, Biotechnology Manager of SESVanderHave. “We are delighted to be working with Nemgenix, who are leaders in the field of plant nematology and have considerable experience in the research and development of biotechnology-mediated crop traits. This collaboration is part of SESVanderHave’s strategy to develop innovative technologies to bring new, competitive beet varieties to those markets that are facing increasing issues with BCN. A main goal for SESVanderHave in developing a biotechnology-mediated BCN resistance trait with Nemgenix is to offer to sugar beet farmers a long term and lasting solution to BCN infestation. ”

Dr Sean Hird, Chief Executive Officer of Nemgenix said: “This collaboration marks another important step in the emergence of Nemgenix as the biotechnology partner of choice for those looking to develop nematode resistance traits in field crops. SESVanderHave’s commitment to innovation and their ability to rapidly introduce and develop new traits for the sugar beet markets makes them an ideal partner for us.”

Professor Michael Jones, Chief Scientific Officer of Nemgenix said: “We have developed nematode resistance in a range of crops. The collaboration with SESVanderHave nicely complements our in-house programmes and enables us to work with the leading innovators in sugar beet R&D.”