Seed World

Brazilian Biodiversity Leader and Benson Hill Expand Partnership to Advance Crop Breeding

Benson Hill Biosystems, a crop improvement company unlocking the natural diversity of plants, and Embrapa, one of the world’s largest plant biodiversity and crop science research institutions, are extending their partnership to accelerate Embrapa’s breeding program and enrich Benson Hill’s CropOS™ crop development technology.

Under the new agreement, Embrapa will leverage CropOS™ to breed improved varieties of soybeans, maize, sorghum and other crops. Embrapa will also contribute its rich sets of crop-related data, enabling Benson Hill to further refine CropOS™.

“We are eager to expand our relationship with Benson Hill and use CropOS to advance breeding for farmers across Latin America,” said Cleber Soares, executive director for Innovation and Technology of Embrapa. “Our work together has demonstrated their commitment to collaboration and appreciation for the power of genetic diversity to help solve big global challenges in a sustainable way.”

Embrapa first partnered with Benson Hill in 2017 to access the company’s genome editing CRISPR nucleases. The new agreement expands to Breed, powered by CropOS, in which Embrapa will access Benson Hill’s AI-driven computational platform for predictive breeding capability and further enhance the platform with its rich data sets.

“The synergy of our technology platform and Embrapa’s research pipeline and data will enable both organizations to accelerate their efforts to improve crops,” said Matthew Crisp, CEO and co-founder of Benson Hill. “Given Embrapa’s work with seed companies across and well beyond Brazil, the impact of this partnership will be extraordinarily far-reaching. We are thrilled to expand our work together.”

Embrapa is a research, development and innovation corporation under the Brazilian Government committed to the advancement of a healthy food supply and conservation of natural biodiversity. Embrapa’s 2,500 researchers apply scientific knowledge and techniques to improve the productivity, nutrition, and sustainability of more than 20 crop species. Brazil represents 20% of the natural diversity on the planet.

Benson Hill’s CropOS™ brings together machine learning, big data analytics and biological knowledge to help plant researchers predict and control outcomes. It allows researchers to quickly predict, select and control desirable traits to bring crop and ingredient improvements to market faster.

Source: Benson Hill