Yield10 Bioscience Expands Research License with Bayer

AgTech company Yield10 Biosciences has expanded its research license with Bayer for the C3004 yield trait gene. 

“The early development work reported by Yield10 last year utilizing advanced technology for C3004 is promising, so we look forward to seeing if the results translate well in soybean crops,” Scott Knight, Ph.D., Director of Genome Editing and Yield, Disease and Quality Research at Crop Science, a division of Bayer said in a news release. “We continue to be impressed by Yield10’s capabilities and approach to identifying novel yield traits for oilseed crops. Bayer is committed to developing tailored solutions that meet the needs of farmers, while reducing modern agriculture’s environmental impact.”

Under the amended research license, Bayer will have access to these new developments from Yield10’s C3004 program and new advanced technology related to the C3004 trait and its potential to increase seed yield. Yield10 is developing C3003 and C3004 as novel yield trait genes to increase seed yield in commercially important crops.  

Yield10 has previously shown that targeting C3003, a gene trait derived from algae, can produce increases in seed yield in oilseed crops, including canola. C3004, a Camelina plant gene, may increase activity in the C3003 plants. In 2018, Yield10 reported that Camelina plants engineered only with increased activity of a novel C3004 gene produced significant increases in seed yield as well as increased vigor and branching in many of the plant lines tested in growth chamber studies. The exact role of C3004 is still being evaluated by Yield10.

“We are very pleased with the progress made by the Bayer team in the evaluation of C3003 in their soybean program and appreciate the expansion of our relationship to bring Yield10’s C3004 technology into their testing program in 2019,” Oliver Peoples, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Yield10 Bioscience said in a news release. “Our team looks forward to supporting Bayer with further insights from our ongoing evaluation of C3003 and C3004 in key crops, and we remain committed to contributing to their success with the technology.”

Yield10 uses its “Trait Factory” to develop high value seed traits for the agriculture and food industries to achieve step-change improvements in crop yield. The “Trait Factory” has two components: the “GRAIN” computational modeling platform, which is used to identify specific gene changes designed to improve crop performance, and the deployment of those changes into crops using genome-editing or traditional agricultural biotechnology approaches. The purpose of the “Trait Factory” is to engineer precise alterations to gene activity and the flow of carbon in plants to produce higher yields with lower inputs of land, water or fertilizer. 

Yield10 is advancing several yield traits it has developed in crops such as canola, soybean, rice, wheat and corn. Yield10 is headquartered in Woburn, MA and has an Oilseeds Center of Excellence in Saskatoon, Canada.