BASF plant Science and the Australia-based Molecular Plant Breeding Cooperative Research Centre (MPBCRC) have announced the expansion of their joint research program.

The aim of the seven year, €17 million program, is to develop high yielding wheat varieties that are also more resistant to fungal diseases and adverse environmental conditions such as drought.

As part of the program, BASF Plant Science is making available its collection of gene candidates for yield increase, drought tolerance and fungal disease resistance, while MPBCRC will provide expertise for developing genetic modification of wheat.

“There is still a long way to go for genetic modification in the UK and Europe, but we are optimistic that Europe will move in this direction eventually,” commented BASF Plant Science’s Susanne Benner. “Biotechnology offers many opportunities.”