Genome Editing for Broad-Spectrum Disease Resistance in Crop Plants

Effective, sustainable, and durable solutions to agricultural challenges

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Corteva Agriscience is seeking short, high-level, non-confidential proposals focused on three key crops - maize, soybean, or canola - that describe a genome editing strategy expected to result in broad spectrum disease resistance to non-bacterial diseases.

Application Deadline
February 15th, 2022
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Each year, plant diseases and pests cause up to 40% yield loss worldwide, with plant disease losses alone of around US$220 billion (FAO). At Corteva Agriscience, we are taking on this challenge by developing robust, sustainable solutions to crop disease. One part of our integrated approach to disease control involves applying CRISPR-Cas genome editing technologies to accelerate the development of disease resistant plants. 

As part of this effort and our commitment to building strong collaborations, Corteva invites scientists at universities, nonprofit research institutions and small companies (<50 full-time employees) to submit brief proposals for genome edits that have the potential to confer broad-spectrum disease resistance in three key crops - maize, soybean, and canola. Resistance to more than one species of non-bacterial pathogens or the majority of races of the same non-bacterial pathogen is of particular interest. 

At Corteva Agriscience, our goal is to develop effective, sustainable, and durable solutions to agricultural challenges. Please join us in this effort to improve broad-spectrum disease resistance in crops through CRISPR-Cas genome editing.


Corteva Agriscience is seeking short, high-level, non-confidential proposals focused on three key crops - maize, soybean, or canola - that describe a genome editing strategy expected to result in broad spectrum disease resistance to non-bacterial diseases. 

Our goal is to translate knowledge into impact in agriculture. As such, priority will be given to proposals exhibiting the highest predicted disease resistance improvement with the lowest complexity of edits.

 Approaches of interest:

  • Approaches expected to result in resistance to two or more pathogen species or the majority of races of a single pathogen
  • Approaches leading to qualitative or quantitative disease resistance will be considered – qualitative resistance will be prioritized
  • Novel, creative solutions to broad-spectrum disease resistance that can be generated through genome editing
  • Application of resistance mechanisms from different plant species to crop plants

Approaches not of interest:

  • Resistance specific to bacterial pathogens is not of interest. However, resistance mechanisms known to function against bacterial pathogens that can be leveraged to other types of pathogens may be considered.
  • Approaches solely focused on understanding mechanisms of disease resistance (e.g., edits that result in disease susceptibility, implicating a gene’s role in resistance) are not of interest. Instead, we are seeking proposals for edits that lead to strong resistance phenotypes.

Proposals should also include a brief description of the planned phenotypic analysis of edited plants.

What's in it for you?

For selected proposals we will work with you to develop an effective collaborative approach with access to Corteva genome editing expertise, seed from edited plants of the chosen crop*, and an opportunity to engage with our scientists on topics such as genome editing and transformation methods for trait and crop improvement. Awardees are expected to perform phenotypic analysis of the edited plants and to share those results with Corteva and, if desired, with the broader research community through scientific publication. Subsequent collaborative opportunities with Corteva may be available.

Awarded submissions may receive the following:

  • Genome editing vector design and synthesis
  • Seed transformed with the awardee’s edit(s) of choice for non-commercial, research-only use*
  • Molecular characterization data of edited plants
  • Scientific consultation as needed during/after the project

*Transfer of seeds may be limited depending on geographic location and regulatory, stewardship, and home institution requirements