A collaboration between DuPont and Plant Sensory Systems may lead to future corn varieties that can utilize nitrogen more efficiently, according to a company press release.

The companies will be working together to evaluate proprietary genes to achieve the nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) goal. Under the agreement, DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred receives an exclusive, worldwide research and commercial license to nitrogen use efficiency genes for corn. This agreement complements Pioneer's ongoing research related to NUE. Corn products developed using these genes could help growers protect yield while reducing inputs, such as nitrogen fertilizer, and decrease the energy required to apply fertilizers.

Early-season nitrogen stress can create irreversible yield loss, and nitrogen stress at any time in the corn plant's life can reduce yield. To prevent yield loss from reduced nitrogen levels, nitrogen is applied to stabilize and maximize the yield potential inherent in commercially available genetics. Application of nitrogen represents significant cost for farmers around the world.

"Corn plants that are more efficient at using nitrogen can improve farmer profitability and productivity, while improving sustainability of agriculture worldwide," says John Bedbrook, vice president, DuPont Agricultural Biotechnology. "We are pleased to collaborate with Plant Sensory Systems in this important area of agricultural research to help farmers continue to improve their ability to feed their family and their communities."

"Plant Sensory Systems is looking forward to working with Pioneer, a global leader in producing high-quality, high-yielding seeds, in developing a product to help meet the needs of a growing population in a sustainable manner," says Kathleen Turano, president, Plant Sensory Systems.

Plant Sensory Systems, LLC is a privately held agricultural biotechnology company in Baltimore, MD, that develops technologies to improve crop performance for the production of food, feed, fiber, biofuel and bio-based products. Plant Sensory Systems has developed traits that increase yields, improve nitrogen and water use efficiency, promote tolerance to drought and high temperature, increase seed oil content and enhance nutritional value.

Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business headquartered in Des Moines, IA, is the world's leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries.

Learn more about the new collaboration at www.plantsensorysystems.com or www.dupont.com.