Pairwise and Bayer have entered a new multi-million dollar, five-year collaboration to enhance gene-edited short-stature corn.
AgTech Corporate Crop Genomics Partnerships

Pairwise and Bayer Collaborate

Pairwise, a pioneering food and agriculture company renowned for introducing the first gene-edited food to the U.S. market, has joined forces with Bayer, a global leader in life sciences and agriculture. The two industry giants have announced a new multi-million dollar, five-year agreement that revolves around innovations in short-stature corn – a visionary approach that holds immense promise for the future of farming.

The foundation of this collaboration builds upon their previous successful five-year partnership encompassing a range of crops, including corn, soy, wheat, cotton, and canola. The present venture, however, casts the spotlight on optimizing and enhancing gene-edited short-stature corn to be integrated into Bayer’s Preceon™ Smart Corn System. This innovative approach aims to produce corn varieties with a targeted height reduction of 30 to 40 percent compared to traditional corn plants.

Short-stature corn, with its purposeful reduction in height, introduces a host of sustainability advantages. The increasing severity of climate-related weather events and extreme winds necessitates agricultural innovations that can combat crop loss. Short-stature corn is a resilient solution, offering heightened protection against these challenges. Furthermore, its compact stature allows for more precise application of inputs throughout the growing season, enhancing efficiency while reducing the risk of crop loss.

At the heart of this collaboration lies Pairwise’s cutting-edge Fulcrum™ platform, a technological marvel that has proven its efficacy in propelling gene-editing innovations. With a suite of proprietary gene-editing tools, including REDRAW™ and SHARC™, Pairwise has paved the way for targeted improvements in agriculture. REDRAW™, a precise templated editing toolbox, can accomplish minute edits at CRISPR-targeted sites, while SHARC™, a proprietary enzyme, excels in cutting, base editing, and REDRAW editing.

Bayer’s Head of R&D at Crop Science Division, Bob Reiter, underscores the transformative potential of Pairwise’s technology: “These kinds of new genomic techniques are extraordinarily focused and produce results much more quickly and precisely than the conventional breeding process, ensuring that we can accelerate the delivery of solutions that growers need.”

The initial five-year collaboration between Pairwise and Bayer has already yielded impressive results. Twenty-seven novel traits were introduced into Bayer’s testing programs, encompassing various crops. The commercial implications are substantial, with edited corn phenotypes showcasing a 20 percent increase in kernel row numbers, promising greater yields from the same acreage. Similarly, edited soy has demonstrated reduced susceptibility to Asian soybean rust, potentially decreasing the need for fungicides and safeguarding yield potential.

Pairwise’s CEO, Tom Adams, echoes the sentiment of innovation and environmental stewardship, noting, “Working closely with Bayer on furthering this revolution in corn gives us the market reach to enable our technology innovations to adjust to the biggest challenge of our time more quickly: the changing climate.”

In a broader context, Pairwise is not a newcomer to leveraging advanced technologies for market-ready products. The company recently launched Conscious™ Greens, its inaugural product, in the U.S. food service sector. This accomplishment was realized in a remarkable four-year span, illustrating the efficacy of Pairwise’s Fulcrum Platform in expediting product development.

Beyond its collaboration with Bayer, Pairwise continues contributing to global agriculture by partnering with other innovative entities and licensing its intellectual property for applications in critical crops like bananas and coffee. This holistic approach underscores Pairwise’s commitment to building a healthier world through innovative and sustainable solutions.

As agriculture faces mounting challenges in a changing world, the collaboration between Pairwise and Bayer is a testament to the potential of scientific and technological advancements to drive the evolution of farming practices. By harnessing the power of gene editing, these companies are revolutionizing crop development and paving the way for a more resilient, productive, and sustainable agricultural future.

Image provided by Bayer


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