BASF, PowerPollen Announce Research Collaboration For Hybrid Wheat
BASF and PowerPollen announced an agreement to further develop and apply PowerPollen’s patented pollen preservation and application technology to improve cross-pollination and enhance BASF’s proprietary wheat program.
BASF is developing new hybrid wheat varieties to improve yield, quality and stability to meet the agronomic and economic needs of growers and the value chain, and the nutritional needs of a growing world population. Through hybridization and advanced breeding platforms, hybrid wheat delivers leading performance and seed quality with value-added traits that can be tailored to local growing conditions.
The PowerPollen technology, already proven in corn applications, has the potential to collect, preserve and apply wheat pollen at a commercial scale, which would dramatically increase pollination efficiency for BASF’s hybrid wheat seed production.
“Hybrid wheat demonstrates BASF’s commitment to transforming wheat for long-term success through a globally-driven, advanced breeding platform adapted to local needs and supported by a continuous pipeline of innovation,” says Gustavo Gonzalez, Director of Global Wheat Crop Strategy for BASF. “This collaboration will leverage PowerPollen’s unique expertise in solving pollen preservation and application in corn to improve hybrid wheat seed production.”
Commercial-scale hybrid wheat has been the goal of wheat breeders and seed companies since the 1950s. The addition of PowerPollen’s preservation and application technology expands the potential for hybrid wheat and improved productivity and profitability for wheat farmers.
“We are excited to develop our technology in collaboration with BASF, whose industry-leading wheat and traits research platform shows incredible opportunities for hybrid wheat,” says Todd Krone, co-founder and CEO of PowerPollen. “When applied to commercial hybrid seed corn production, PowerPollen’s technology increases yields and enables production of hybrids that conventional methods are unable to produce. The goal is to achieve similar results in wheat to accelerate hybridization of this staple crop.”