The Makhteshim Agan Group ("MAI") and NRGENE, a leading developer of cutting edge computational solutions for the crop breeding industry, announced a collaboration agreement.

According to the agreement, MAI will become a strategic investor in NRGENE, an Israeli developer of software-based genetic tools, and the companies will collaborate on technology development project. The collaboration agreement is in-line with the establishment of MAI's Novel Agricultural Technologies Division that leverages on deep expertise and understanding of agricultural needs and trends. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

NRGENE's unique tools use cutting-edge genomic analysis to identify genetic markers for complex traits that are controlled by multiple genes within the breeding populations of various crops. The technology helps breeders by increasing the success probability rates enhancing the breeding process and shortening the time to market for elite varieties of crop plants.

Commenting on the announcement, Yoav Zeif, Ph.D., MAI's SVP Global Products and Marketing, said: "NRGENE's exciting technology and creative team of professionals will support our focus to offer new solutions in the field of seeds and genomics. By investing in - and cooperating with - NRGENE, we will help bring breeders tools that can boost their crop yields. Combining MAI's understanding of farmers' needs with innovative and unique technologies will enable us to expand our offering to growers around the world."

David Lieber, NRGENE's Chairman, said, "We are excited about our partnership with MAI as they are a company with a worldwide footprint and a proven track record of serving the agricultural industry." Gil Ronen, Ph.D., NRGENE's founder and CEO, added, "As as a technology company, we are very excited about the opportunity this cooperation creates for us to see our tools at work with actual crops and real projects."