Inari, the SEEDesign company, and InterGrain, a leading cereal breeding company in Australia, today announced a strategic collaboration to improve the yield potential of wheat, enhancing the crop’s long-term viability in the face of an increasingly variable climate.
The partnership brings together InterGrain’s Australian wheat genetics with Inari’s predictive design and multiplex gene editing capabilities, promising a future of unique and competitive products that represent a step-change in yield potential.
While the announcement pertains to wheat in Australia, there could be impact on wheat varieties around the world.
“Although today’s announcement is specific to the Australian market and our partnership with InterGrain, this collaboration opens the door to new wheat developments that we anticipate benefiting the wheat industry across the world, including in the U.S.,” a company spokesperson told Successful Farming.
In a statement, Tress Walmsley, chief executive officer of InterGrain, said the company prioritizes Australia’s sustainability and competitive advantage in producing agriculture goods. “Inari’s team brings a wealth of experience and knowledge, and InterGrain values the collaboration capability to bring our shared vision for a more sustainable future for agriculture to life.”
For its part, Inari applies data science and software engineering to create plants that have “nature-positive outcomes,” using its technology to address systems within plants that impact factors such as productivity and resource use efficiency.
The technology is non-genetically modified and using the SEEDesign technology platform, which combines predictive design and multiplex gene editing – enables combining different types of edits to efficiently and accurately target genes known to impact plants’ yield components.
“This collaboration with InterGrain is a critical next step in Inari’s mission to transform the crops most responsible for global food security,” said Ponsi Trivisvavet, chief executive officer at Inari, in the statement. “Our SEEDesign platform has the ability to transform any crop in any geography. Expanding not only into wheat but also into a new continent presents an exciting opportunity to broaden the reach and impact of our cutting-edge technology.”
Together, InterGrain and Inari are targeting a 10% to 15% increase in wheat yield potential, in addition to more efficient use of inputs. The companies expect the first commercial varieties from this relationship in four to five years.
“This is an exciting opportunity for both Australian growers and InterGrain with the technology having the capacity to dramatically improve grower on-farm profitability through the delivery of significantly higher yielding varieties across a range of grain growing environments,” adds Walmsley. “The genetic advancements available within our future varieties will ensure Australian growers’ competitive market advantages are maintained.”
The integration of this new breeding technology will meet Australian regulatory requirements.