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44 I EUROPEAN SEED I EUROPEAN-SEED.COM INDUSTRY NEWS BUSINESS NEWS Rijk Zwaan Hellas has taken over the sales activities previously handled by the Rijk Zwaan distributor Agrosystem. Rijk Zwaan expects this new subsidiary to enable it to respond to the needs of the Greek vegetable sector even more effectively. The management team of Rijk Zwaan Hellas comprises Christos Lavdas and Diamantis Tsiatouras both of whom have been working at Agrosystem for many years. The rest of the Agrosystem team are also transfer- ring to Rijk Zwaan where they will continue to put their valuable knowledge experience and network to good use to further develop the Greek agri-food sector. Rijk Zwaan Hellas is based in Irapetra on the island of Crete where it also has a trial station. SynTech Research has acquired Syngentas field and laboratory facility equipment and experienced seeds testing team of 12 staff located in Sem-ice in the northwest of the Czech Republic. This is the latest in a line of successful facility acquisitions in the U.S. the EU and Asia Pacific with major program contracts also in Latin America which bene- fit both organisations said Khosro Khodayari president and CEO of SynTech. The Sem-ice station and its team will greatly enhance our European capability as a part of our global strategy to expand seedstraits contract research. The location is ideal for programs relevant to the whole Central European region covering sugar beet corn cereals and oilseed rape the facility is equipped for sugar beet quality analysis and sample processing. The station will continue to deliver current seeds trials and will add programs from new custom- ers. The team will also deliver agrochemical GEP trials during the 20162017 season. The Biotechnology Industry Organization a biotech trade association representing bio- tech companies academic institutions state biotech centers and related organisations across 30 countries has changed its name to Biotechnology Innovation Organization. According to BIO the change of name better reflects the remarkable progress and ground- breaking innovations its members attain in healing fueling and feeding the world. Our members are some of the most innovative people on the planet. Biotech companies and research institutions are filled with scientists and entrepreneurs who see a different future. And then they innovate to change the course of history says BIO president and CEO Jim Greenwood. Everything we do is focused on improving the world we live in he added. DuPont and The Dow Chemical Company have approved a definitive agreement under which the companies will combine in an all- stock merger of equals according to a news release. The combined company will be named DowDuPont. The parties intend to subse- quently pursue a separation of DowDuPont into three independent publicly traded companies. This would occur as soon as feasible which is expected to be 18 to 24 months following the closing of the merger subject to regula- tory and board approval. The companies will include a leading global pure-play Agriculture company a leading global pure-play Material Science company and a leading technology and innovation-driven Specialty Products company. Each of the businesses will have clear focus an appropriate capital structure a distinct and compelling investment thesis scale advan- tages and focused investments in innovation to better deliver superior solutions and choices for customers according to the news release. Monsanto opens a new greenhouse facility in Njar Spain. The facility will be the first- of-its-kind for Monsantos vegetables business focused exclusively on the research devel- opment and testing of new hybrid rootstocks for tomato breeding. Rootstocks serve as the base for tomato crops in protected cultivation which are grafted onto the rootstock during the early nursery stage. This allows the plant to grow on a sturdy foundation and benefit from a strong root structure obtaining the neces- sary water and nutrition with better resistance to nematode roundworms and disease. The new facility will allow Monsanto to develop and screen more rootstock hybrids across a range of crop and testing environments to ensure the best new generation of rootstock varieties are available to growers across Europe. Monsantos goal is to increase its rootstock-development a significant and ambitious improvement to the speed at which Monsanto will be able to bring new varieties to market. Arcadia Biosciences and Dow AgroSciences collaborate to develop and commercialise new breakthrough yield traits and trait stacks in corn. The collaboration leverages Arcadias leading platform of abiotic stress traits with Dow AgroSciences enabling technology plat- forms input traits regulatory capabilities and commercial channels. Under the collaboration the companies will jointly develop and commer- cialise agronomic yield traits such as nutrient efficiency and water use efficiency including several traits which have already completed advanced field trials in corn conducted by Dow AgroSciences. These traits would then be combined with Dow AgroSciences input traits to create highly competitive trait stacks that maximise farmer revenue and efficiency. Developing crops with enhanced agronomic performance is technically difficult making relationships with companies like Arcadia important as we rise to the challenge and advance technology that will help meet the needs of the future says Daniel Kittle vice president Research and Development Dow AgroSciences. Vilmorin Cie has finalised the full take- over of Genica Research Corporation head- quartered in Dixon California. Specialised in research breeding production and distribu- tion by delegation of hybrid vegetable seeds Genica Research Corporation is focused on major crops sweet and hot peppers cucumber summer squash along with tomato eggplant melon and watermelon. It has operational sites in the United States California and Florida in Spain and in Italy and also several breed- ing stations within these geographical zones. Genica Research Corporation will integrate our operational organisation the American activities will join the HM.CLAUSE Business Unit and the European activities the Vilmorin Business Unit. Through this targeted external growth operation we will be able to strengthen our market shares considerably for key crops and territories says Emmanuel Rougier CEO Delegate of Vilmorin Cie. INDUSTRY NEWS The Inter nationa l W heat Genome Sequencing Consortium IWGSC has announced the production of a whole genome assembly of bread wheat the most widely grown cereal in the world sig- nificantly accelerating global research into crop improvement. The project consisted of producing a whole genome assembly of the bread wheat variety Chinese Spring based on Illumina short sequence reads assembled with NRGenes DeNovoMAGIC software. The public-private collaborative project is coor- dinated by the IWGSC and co-led by Nils Stein of IPK Gatersleben in Germany Curtis Pozniak of the University of Saskatchewans Crop Development Centre in Canada Andrew Sharpe of the Global Institute for Food Security in Canada and Jesse Poland of Kansas State University in the United States. Project partic- ipants also include researchers from Illumina Inc. NRGene in Israel and the United States Tel Aviv University in Israel and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research INRA. The new data will help speed up the delivery of a high quality reference sequence of the bread wheat genome. This new wheat genome sequence generated by the IWGSC and its partners is an important contribu- tion to understanding the genetic blueprint of one of the worlds most important crops says Pozniak. It will provide wheat research- ers with an exciting new resource to identify the most influential genes important to wheat adaptation stress response pest resistance and improved yield. Koppert Biological Systems recently laid the foundation stone for a sustainable build- ing in the Spanish town of Vcar and hopes to bring microbiological solutions closer to growers around the world. This building is much more than an economic investment. It represents Kopperts commitment to