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Lothar Willmitzer (Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology (MPI-MP) (Golm))

Willmitzer, Lothar (Max Planck 201006 Managing Director MPI for Molecular Plant Physiology)


Organisation Organisation Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology (MPI-MP) (Golm)
  Group Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science
Product Product plant biotechnology

Bayer AG. (4/10/14). "Press Release: Bayer CropScience and Targenomix Enter into Research Collaboration Agreement. New Active Ingredients and Traits to Increase Agricultural Productivity". Monheim.

Systems biology approaches to identify metabolic and molecular processes in plants

Bayer CropScience and Targenomix are committed to innovation that will provide new options and choices for farmers.

Bayer CropScience and Targenomix GmbH, Potsdam, a spin-off of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, have entered into a five-year research collaboration to develop and apply systems biology approaches for the exploration of metabolic and regulatory networks in plants. The insights gained from the collaboration will be applied to identify and explore novel small molecules as well as trait technologies, with the goal of developing innovative crop protection and plant health solutions.

"I strongly support this collaboration aimed at identifying new molecular targets and pathways of importance for healthy plant growth. The goal of developing innovative solutions to increase agricultural productivity will be highly beneficial", said Peter Gruss, President of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft.

"Farmers worldwide urgently need new solutions to further increase both yields and the quality of harvested produce", said Dr. Axel Trautwein, Head of Chemical Crop Protection Research at Bayer CropScience. He noted that plants are exposed to a wide range of both biotic and abiotic stresses which often occur in combination and have a significant impact on world agriculture. "This partnership between Bayer CropScience and Targenomix will bring together leading scientists who will leverage their combined knowledge to elucidate some of the secrets of plant biology."

"Plants are complex organisms which respond to numerous environmental and endogenous signals. Yield is the result of the integration of multiple molecular and biochemical processes and systems approaches are key to understanding these complex interactions. During the last ten years the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology has become a world leader in plant systems biology and Targenomix will help to translate this knowledge to an industrial setting", said Professor Lothar Willmitzer, Director of the Max Planck Institute and one of the founders of Targenomix.

"We are exited and proud to have agreed the research collaboration with Bayer CropScience and are confident that the combined knowledge of both companies will result in new concepts in agriculture", said Dr. Sebastian Klie, CEO of Targenomix and previously a computational biologist at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology. "We would like to thank Max-Planck-Innovation GmbH, the technology transfer organization of the Max Planck Society, for their strong support during the setting up of this collaboration."

Initially 12 scientists, under the scientific lead of Professor Willmitzer who will act as a consultant for the program, will work on this collaboration at Targenomix. It is planned to further expand the platform during the timeframe of the collaboration.

About Bayer CropScience

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, the subgroup of Bayer AG responsible for the agricultural business, has annual sales of EUR 8,819 million (2013) and is one of the world's leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. The company offers an outstanding range of products including high value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action as well as an extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture. In the area of non-agricultural applications, Bayer CropScience has a broad portfolio of products and services to control pests from home and garden to forestry applications. The company has a global workforce of 22,400 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at:

About Targenomix

Targenomix GmbH was founded in October 2013. It is located in the GO:IN Innovations Center in Potsdam-Golm, a few hundred meters away from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology. Targenomix has core competences in computational and systems biology, quantitative and molecular genetics, biochemistry and cell biology. It anticipates growing to about 20 scientists by the end of the year. Targenomix offers its services for agrochemical, pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Further information can be found at

Find more information at

Forward-Looking Statements

This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer's public reports which are available on the Bayer website at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

Record changed: 2014-04-23


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