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Luke and Bayer start co-operation on genetic and genomic evaluation in plant breeding


The Genetics and Breeding group of Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) and Bayer Crop Science have signed a Research Collaboration Agreement effective April 29, 2022 to build new genetic and genomic evaluation software to be used in plant breeding.   

For the last 20 years, Luke has developed efficient computational solutions for breeding value predictions in animal breeding. During the last decade, the evaluation models and computing methods have been targeted toward efficiently and directly utilizing direct genomic data. These innovations have been put into practice in an easy-to-use software package called MiX99. Currently MiX99 is used in large-scale animal evaluations in 17 different countries across the world and in many more organizations in these countries.

Bayer Crop Science is committed to delivering better solutions for all growers, to help them, consumers and our planet thrive. Innovations in plant breeding help to enable more choice for consumers while addressing the challenges farmers face in the field every day, so Bayer invests more in plant breeding research and development annually than in any other agricultural research and development platform.

Based on the expertise of both parties, Luke and Bayer initiated this collaboration to create the first fully integrated genetic and genomic evaluation package that is usable in the genetic improvement of field crops. In addition to Luke’s expertise with models and methods tested in the animal breeding world, this new effort will implement various new options that are specific for large-scale plant breeding programs.

“For Luke, the Mix4Crops project opens up tremendous opportunities to expand our existing knowledge on genomic prediction of breeding values to the plant breeding world,” says research professor Esa Mäntysaari from Luke.

“Our collaboration with Luke will bring more precision and speed to Bayer’s extensive data-driven breeding programs as we build a new foundation to deliver increased yield for growers at unprecedented speed with Precision Breeding,” Mike Graham, Head of Plant Breeding for Bayer’s Crop Science division.