15-01-2010: Monsanto Company and Stokes Bio Limited announced that they have entered into a licensing agreement and R&D collaboration, which is expected to help accelerate the pace of new advancements in plant breeding. Under the agreement, Monsanto has exclusive rights to Stokes Bio's patented technology for use in agriculture.
In plant breeding, genotyping or gene analysis is used to identify the seeds or plants with the most desirable characteristics, such as better yield or disease resistance. Currently, gene analysis is limited by the number of samples that can be processed at one time and the turnaround time per sample.
Stokes Bio's system utilizes microfluidic technology that can provide the same evaluations using much smaller sample sizes which continually flow through the system in nanoliter-size droplets. The instrument can evaluate up to 100,000 data points per hour, making it more efficient than any currently-used methods of gene analysis. It is capable of generating more data in less time, using less sample and reagent, and at a lower cost than existing technologies. Stokes Bio will deliver a number of these next-generation genotyping instruments to Monsanto next year.
"Monsanto's strength lies in our robust discovery engine which fuels our industry-leading R&D pipeline," said Bob Reiter, vice president of breeding technology for Monsanto. "We are constantly looking for opportunities to collaborate with other companies and adopt new technologies that could help speed up the rate of scientific discovery. More efficient gene analysis means we can leverage this knowledge in our technology pipeline and be able to offer our farmer customers innovative products that boost productivity on the farm, faster than ever."
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