Dayton Business Journal
June 9, 2009

Monsanto Co. and BASF scientists said Tuesday they discovered a naturally occurring bacterial gene that can help corn plants combat drought conditions and show yield stability during periods of low rainfall.

The companies said they would use the gene to develop the world’s first biotechnology-derived drought-tolerant crop.

The discovery is a timely breakthrough, according to Monsanto.

The number and duration of dry spells, especially in already drought-prone areas, is expected to increase due to climate change, according to a United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization report prepared for ministers of the G-8, Monsanto said.

Monsanto, which recently announced it was setting up a research office in Miami County, and BASF said the drought-tolerant corn product is targeted for as early as 2012 pending appropriate regulatory approvals.

The two companies are jointly contributing $1.5 billion over the life of their research collaboration.

Chemical company BASF is based in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

Creve Coeur, Mo.-based Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON), led by Chairman, President and CEO Hugh Grant, develops insect- and herbicide-resistant crops and other agricultural products.

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