BASF and Kaiima in Traits Collaboration

17.08.2017 -

German chemical giant BASF has joined forces with Israel’s Kaiima Bio-Agritech, a genetics and breeding technology company, to work on discovery of novel herbicide resistance traits for the development of new weed control systems.

The multi-year collaboration will leverage Kaiima's proprietary EP technology platform, a non-GMO breeding tool said to enhance plant performance by inducing novel diversity within the genome, using the plant's own DNA.

According to the future partners, the technology, said to work with all major crops and plant species, can create forms of genetic modifications such as gene duplications and translocations, which are largely unattainable through other mutagenesis approaches.

In the collaboration, Kaiima will utilize its genomics expertise to identify modifications responsible for the new trait, while BASF will contribute its extensive knowledge in herbicide application and formulation, as well as precision testing capabilities. It will also work closely with Kaiima on discovery validation.

Toward creating a pipeline of future joint projects, BASF will also be able to leverage its extensive portfolio of seed technologies seen as boosting product efficacy and amplifying production efficiency.

Gene editing to produce novel traits has sparked industry-wide interest, said Kevin Cook, Kaiima’s chief technology officer; however, the gene systems that regulate targeted traits are unknown. The unique EP technology can address these cases because it is unconstrained by a need for specific biochemical pathway knowledge to create desired traits, Cook said.