Seed World

Collaboration to Develop New Rice Varieties for U.S. Market

Kaiima Bio-Agritech Ltd., a genetics and breeding technology company, and Horizon Ag LLC, a technology provider for the U.S. rice industry, will collaborate to develop new, high-performing rice varieties. The multi-year project, initiated in 2015, combines U.S. adapted germplasm sourced by Horizon Ag and Kaiima’s proprietary EP technology platform.

Horizon Ag and Kaiima have recently completed the development phase and are entering the new EP rice varieties in first year yield trials for 2017 in select locations across the U.S. rice growing belt. The companies are considering the possibility of adding additional germplasm conversion projects in the future.

“We believe that Kaiima’s vision for sustainable rice production complements Horizon Ag’s strengths,” says Timothy Walker, general manager of Horizon Ag. “The combination of Kaiima’s EP technology with Horizon Ag’s proven performance of bringing novel rice seed technologies to market has the potential to bring significant new efficiencies to the rice industry of the Southern United States, and we are pleased to be a part of this effort.”

EP technology is a breeding tool developed by Kaiima that enhances plant performance by inducing novel diversity within the genome, using the plant’s own DNA. The technology works with all major crops and plant species.

Kaiima collaborates with multinational and leading regional seed companies to apply its technology to elite germplasm. According to the company, technology benefits include yield increases, a unique ability to create genetic diversity, improved tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses, efficient project development timelines and improved seed production.

“We are excited about our collaboration with Horizon Ag and are eager to obtain favorable initial yield results from our collaboration in 2017,” says Rick Greubel, CEO of Kaiima. “Kaiima’s EP technology platform is a powerful tool for breeding programs, and we look forward to continuing to work with Horizon Ag to develop better rice varieties that create value for rice growers.”