DuPont Pioneer Provides Access to Proprietary Phenotyping Technology; Sponsors Purdue Endowed Chair in Plant Sciences

News | Thursday, March 30th, 2017

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., and Des Moines, Iowa, — DuPont and Purdue University announced Thursday (March 30) that Purdue has been granted access to DuPont Pioneer’s proprietary phenotyping and ear photometry technology as part of an innovative research collaboration. To further enable the advancement of students pursuing agriculture-related majors and support plant sciences research, DuPont also will sponsor the Henry Wallace Chair in Plant Sciences in the Purdue University College of Agriculture.

“We could not be more excited to have DuPont as a collaborator in our plant sciences program,” said Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture. “This investment will dramatically enhance our capabilities to improve plants and build on the momentum of the Purdue Moves investment in Plant Sciences.”

“Through this public-private effort, we’re shaping the future of agriculture by seeking to advance research and develop a rich talent pipeline of future employees,” said John Arbuckle, vice president, DuPont Pioneer. “DuPont, Purdue, and, most importantly, growers will benefit from outcomes that could include broader and deeper research insights and better products with consistently higher yields.”

The technology from Pioneer will advance research at Purdue’s Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation Center, a state-of-the-art, automated field phenotyping facility.

Phenotyping is the process of learning how the genetic makeup of a plant adapts and reacts to the environment to produce complex traits such as growth, tolerance and yield. Ear photometry technology, which quantifies yield on a single ear of corn, enables researchers to identify which key ear traits – such as ear size or number of kernels – affect overall performance.

“The ear photometry toolkit will allow us to measure corn phenotype and understand how the environment impacts the genotype,” said Karen Plaut, senior associate dean for research and faculty affairs and director of agricultural research, Purdue University. “In Indiana, we plant more than 5 million acres of corn per year and research to understand how the environment impacts yield is critical to our farmers.”

Endowed Chair Honors Henry A. Wallace

The newly endowed chair recognizes Henry A. Wallace, who in 1926 founded the Pioneer Hi-Bred Corn Company, now DuPont Pioneer. An advocate for farmers and the American people, Wallace also served as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from 1933-1940 and as vice president of the United States from 1941-1945. Throughout his illustrious career, Wallace remained committed to advancing plant genetics.

The Henry A. Wallace Chair will support a faculty member who applies modern technology to plant breeding and will oversee research conducted by students, faculty, staff and industry professionals at the Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation Center.

“It’s fitting for the endowed chair to be named in honor of Henry A. Wallace,” said his grandson, David Wallace Douglas. “He held a strong belief in the value of research and development to continuously improve crop performance, which would ultimately improve the livelihood of farmers.”

DuPont Pioneer has pledged funding for the Henry Wallace Chair in Plant Sciences over a five-year period. This multi-year investment qualifies for the College of Agriculture’s Endowed Chair Challenge and will generate an additional gift of $1 million from a College of Agriculture alumnus.

The Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation Center was developed as part of Purdue’s Institute for Plant Sciences, part of Purdue Moves, a series of university initiatives announced by Purdue President Mitch Daniels in 2013 to broaden the university’s global impact and enhance educational opportunities for its students.

DuPont Pioneer is the world’s leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere. Science with Service Delivering Success®.

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders, we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit www.dupont.com.

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3/30/17

®, ™, SM Trademarks and service marks of DuPont, Pioneer or their respective owners.
Contacts:

Purdue: Darrin Pack, 765-494-8415, dpack@purdue.edu

DuPont Pioneer: Susan Mantey, 614-902-0836, susan.mantey@pioneer

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