BASF, Kaiima collaborate to discover novel herbicide resistance traits

BASF SE and Kaiima Bio-Agritech, a genetics and breeding technology company, have collaborated for the discovery of novel herbicide resistance traits to develop new weed control systems to improve farmer productivity.

This multi-year project will leverage Kaiima’s proprietary EP technology platform, a non-GMO breeding tool that enhances plant performance by inducing novel diversity within the genome, using the plant’s own DNA.

EP can create forms of genetic modifications, such as gene duplications and translocations, which are largely unattainable through other mutagenesis approaches. The technology works with all major crops and plant species. Kaiima will also utilise its genomics expertise to identify modifications responsible for the new trait.

BASF, which has a broad and diverse herbicide portfolio, will provide its extensive knowledge in herbicide application and formulation, as well as precision testing capabilities. The company will also work closely with Kaiima on discovery validation.

“The ability to make specific edits to targeted genes has sparked industry-wide interest in implementing gene editing techniques to create novel traits. However, often the gene systems that regulate targeted traits are unknown. EP is a unique technology platform for addressing these cases because it is unconstrained by a need for specific biochemical pathway knowledge to create desired traits,” said Kevin Cook, CTO of Kaiima.

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