National Corn Growers Association announces valuable maize genome data now available to scientists

07/14/04

Ceres, DuPont, Monsanto transfer genetic information to improve public research

ST. LOUIS, Mo., July 13, 2004 Valuable maize (corn) research is now available to research scientists working to sequence the maize genome, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announced today. Ceres, Inc., Monsanto Company, and DuPont subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., have transferred their maize sequencing information to a searchable database on the Internet hosted at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.

After completing a licensing agreement downloadable on the NCGA Web site at www.ncga.com, scientists can access the research at www.maizeseq.org.

"Access to these gene sequences will help public-sector researchers more quickly develop corn plants with improved agronomic performance and profitable quality traits," said Patrick Schnable, professor and director of the Center for Plant Genomics and past chair, Maize Genetics Executive Committee.

In March, NCGA announced the three industry leaders would share their corn genome sequence data, which combined with the corn sequence data already in the public domain will significantly accelerate the identification of genes within the entire corn genome.

This project underscores NCGA's continued commitment to advancements through research. NCGA took a leading role in getting the Plant Genome Initiative signed into law in 1997 and continues to support this important effort. With the availability of sequencing data from Ceres, DuPont and Monsanto, the corn genome could be completely sequenced by 2007, potentially years ahead of when it would have been completed without this initiative.

The NCGA's mission is to create and increase opportunities for corn growers in a changing world and to enhance corn's profitability and usage. NCGA represents more than 33,000 members, 25 affiliated state corn grower organizations and hundreds of thousands of growers who contribute to state checkoff programs.

Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit institute with a global vision to improve the human condition through basic plant research. Please visit www.danforthcenter.org for additional information.

Ceres, Inc. is a privately held biotechnology company utilizing multiple integrated plant genomics technologies to develop innovative products. For more information on Ceres, see: www.ceresbiotechnology.com

Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., a subsidiary of DuPont, is the world's leading source of customized solutions for farmers, livestock producers, and grain and oilseed processors. DuPont is a science company, delivering science-based solutions in food and nutrition, health care, apparel, home and construction, electronics and transportation that make a difference in people's lives.

Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. For more information on Monsanto, see: www.monsanto.com.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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