Indiana-based Ag Alumni Seed to License Purdue’s ‘Short Corn’ Technology

Purdue University Grants Worldwide License for Short-Stature Corn Inbred to Ag Alumni Seed

Purdue University’s Innovates Office of Technology Commercialization has recently issued a worldwide, exclusive license for a short-stature corn inbred called D16 to Ag Alumni Seed, a company based in Romney, Indiana. This license is specific to popcorn and does not extend to dent corn, field corn, or sweet corn.

The development of D16 began with research conducted by Guri Johal, a professor of botany and plant pathology in Purdue University’s College of Agriculture. Ag Alumni Seed has supported multiple research projects at Purdue University, contributing financially and with in-kind support such as land, equipment, and facilities. The president and CEO of Ag Alumni Seed, Jay Hulbert, emphasized that D16 is not a GMO trait, and it was developed using traditional breeding techniques without incorporating any foreign DNA into the corn.

The advantages of D16 for farmers are numerous. A shorter corn plant like D16 is less likely to break or fall over under stress caused by severe weather, reducing the risk of contamination by foreign materials. It also allows for easier field work and may improve sustainability by increasing yield, utilizing water and fertilizer more efficiently, and enhancing yield reliability for farmers.

Ag Alumni Seed plans to fast-track new hybrids with the shorter-stature feature, testing them alongside current hybrids in U.S. trials in the coming summer. Based on the trial results, the company will make decisions regarding further trials and the commercialization of D16 hybrids.

This milestone represents a significant advancement in agricultural technology, combining traditional breeding techniques with innovative research to develop a corn inbred with numerous benefits for farmers. As Purdue University and Ag Alumni Seed continue to collaborate, the future of D16 and its potential impact on the agricultural industry looks promising.

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