J. R. Simplot Co., Boise, Idaho, signed a research agreement with Yield10 Bioscience, Inc., Woburn, Mass., to evaluate three novel yield traits in potato. Under the agreement, Simplot will conduct research with these yield traits within its research and development program as a strategy to improve crop performance and sustainability. In addition to the 3-year, non-exclusive research agreement, Simplot will negotiate an exclusive commercial license agreement. 

The novel crop yield traits included in the research agreement are C3003, C3004 and C4001. In studies performed by Yield10 in greenhouse or field tests, these traits have shown a range of promising activities such as good agronomic performance, increased photosynthesis, increased seed yield and/or increased biomass production.

“Traits like improved crop yield and performance that Yield10 has discovered are also a key objective for Simplot, as we pursue our goals of producing more sustainable crops,” says Susan Collinge, vice president of Simplot plant sciences. “It is technology-driven innovations like the traits developed by Yield10 that may contribute to new solutions to meet growing global food demand by boosting crop performance of our products aimed at the consumer market.”

“We look forward to supporting the research team at Simplot, as we enable a new approach for improving yield performance in potato,” says Kristi Snell, chief science officer of Yield10 Bioscience.  “Based on the activity we have reported in other crops, we believe our traits have significant potential for producing yield benefits in potato. Furthermore, the data generated in the program will help us continue to characterize the activity of our traits across a range of crop plants.”   

“Working with major agriculture companies to test new traits identified using our GRAIN platform in crops of commercial significance is fundamental to our strategy of building paths to market for our traits,” says Oliver Peoples, president and CEO of Yield10 Bioscience. “While we are focusing our internal resources primarily on developing performance traits in canola and Camelina, we have successfully secured research agreements to evaluate traits with industry leaders in other crops, and we are very pleased to add Simplot, a world leader in potato development.”