Corteva Agriscience and ZeaKal announce R&D collaboration to develop crops with enhanced photosynthetic capacity

March 11, 2019

Corteva Agriscience, agriculture division of DowDuPont, and ZeaKal have begun a strategic research and development collaboration to advance ZeaKal’s innovative technology designed to improve seed quality and yield. 

Corteva Agriscience (Wilmington, DE), agriculture division of DowDuPont, and ZeaKal (San Diego, CA) have begun a strategic research and development collaboration to advance ZeaKal’s innovative technology designed to improve seed quality and yield by enhancing photosynthetic capacity and efficiency of plants. As part of the deal, Corteva Agriscience will take a minority equity stake in ZeaKal.

“As part of Corteva Agriscience’s mission to offer farmers complete solutions that help maximize their productivity, we are excited to collaborate with ZeaKal to develop its proprietary seed technology with improved agronomic yield,” said Neal Gutterson, chief technology officer for Corteva Agriscience, in a press release. “This collaboration reflects Corteva Agriscience’s approach to open innovation, leveraging collaborations around the world to pursue transformational innovations that enhance sustainability and provide consumers with healthier food options.”

The two will collaborate to develop and test ZeaKal’s proprietary PhotoSeed technology, which uses a novel mechanism to increase a plant’s intrinsic photosynthetic capacity, harvesting more sunlight and fixing more carbon dioxide to improve seed and grain yield. PhotoSeed can also improve seed composition quality by increasing oil and protein content, delivering better nutrition to consumers.

“Corteva Agriscience is the ideal business to help us accelerate PhotoSeed’s path to commercialization,” said Han Chen, ZeaKal’s CEO, in a press release. “Corteva Agriscience brings extensive expertise and a deep bench of resources that will advance our technology development and ensure PhotoSeed meets the gold standard that farmers have come to expect. The collaboration furthers our mission to sustainably feed our growing population while meeting evolving consumer and environmental demands.”