Yield10 Bioscience Announces Collaboration with National Research Council of Canada to Improve Yield and Drought Tolerance in Wheat

WOBURN, Mass., Aug. 08, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Yield10 Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ:YTEN) announced today that its wholly owned Canadian subsidiary, Metabolix Oilseeds, Inc., has signed a collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) to improve yield and drought tolerance in wheat. The collaboration will focus on new trait discovery in wheat using the parent company’s T3 Platform technology. The collaboration will be managed by Metabolix Oilseeds, located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. 

The goal of this two-year collaborative project is to identify new traits for wheat that significantly impact yield and drought tolerance. Under the collaboration, Metabolix Oilseeds and Yield10 will provide access to their proprietary C4000 series of traits, which include global regulatory genes, or global transcription factors (“GTFs”), that the Company has shown to significantly increase photosynthesis and yield in certain crops including rice. Rice has the same C3 photosynthesis system as wheat. Yield10 discovered the C4000 series of traits using its T3 Platform, a novel bioinformatics tool for gene discovery.  Research with the C4000 series of traits will allow the discovery of additional gene targets in wheat that could enhance the yield and/or drought tolerance of the crop.  

Wheat is a major global staple food crop where significant yield increases could play a major role in feeding the world.  Since Canada is a major wheat producer, developing technology to significantly increase wheat yield is a great opportunity to further develop the country’s agricultural economy.   

“Our T3 Platform may represent a novel way to identify new yield and drought tolerance traits that could lead to the development of improved varieties of wheat,” commented Kristi Snell, Ph.D., President of Metabolix Oilseeds and Chief Science Officer of Yield10 Bioscience. “We are pleased to be working with the National Research Council in Canada on this foundational research as they will contribute extensive expertise in wheat research and breeding to the collaboration that could ultimately produce technology to benefit Canadian farmers.”  

“We appreciate the commitment of resources that the National Research Council will make to this collaboration to identify novel traits for wheat,” said Oliver Peoples, Ph.D. Chief Executive Officer of Yield10. “The agreement with the NRC also provides a collaborative model for expanding our work to identify and evaluate new traits in a range of valuable crops.”  The collaboration with the NRC is an example of Yield10 partnering to progress the development of its novel yield technologies in crops outside of the current core focus in oilseeds and corn.  

Background on T3 Platform and GTFs from Yield10 

Previously, Yield10 demonstrated that modulating the expression of GTFs, identified using its T3 Platform gene discovery approach, in switchgrass can result in significantly increased photosynthesis and carbon flow through central metabolism resulting in increased biomass yield. More recently, Yield10 reported that early work in rice with one of the GTFs produced rice plants with more tillers, as well as an increased aboveground biomass. Results of this work are ongoing to determine the impact on seed yield. The results to date in both switchgrass and rice suggest that new traits identified using Yield10’s T3 Platform have the potential to increase grain yield in wheat.  

About Metabolix Oilseeds 

Metabolix Oilseeds, Inc. is a wholly owned Canadian subsidiary of Yield10 Bioscience.  It is a research and development arm of Yield10 Bioscience focused on improving yield in crops, with a primary focus on oilseed crops.  Metabolix Oilseeds is working with parent company Yield10 Bioscience to advance several yield traits in oilseed crops including Camelina, canola and soybean.  Metabolix Oilseeds is based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.  

About Yield10 Bioscience

Yield10 Bioscience, Inc. is focused on developing new technologies to achieve step-change improvements in crop yield to enhance global food security. Yield10 has an extensive track record of innovation based around optimizing the flow of carbon in living systems.  Yield10 leverages its technology platforms and unique knowledge base to design precise alterations to gene activity and the flow of carbon in plants to produce higher yields with lower inputs of land, water or fertilizer. Yield10 is advancing several yield traits it has developed in crops such as Camelina, canola, soybean and corn. Yield10 is headquartered in Woburn, MA and has an Oilseeds center of excellence in Saskatoon, Canada. 

For more information about the company, please visit www.yield10bio.com.


Safe Harbor for Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The forward-looking statements in this release do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Investors are cautioned that statements in this press release which are not strictly historical, including, without limitation, statements regarding the Company's intentions with regard to achieving the research objectives of the collaboration, including producing new varieties of wheat that are higher yielding and/or drought tolerant, constitute forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated, including the risks and uncertainties detailed in Yield10 Bioscience's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Yield10 assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements described herein. 


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