Colin Scanes, Plant Sciences Institute, (515) 294-5267
Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778


AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University's Plant Sciences Institute and The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), El Batan, Mexico, have entered into a three-year agreement to work together on research, education and technology transfer.

The collaboration will focus on cooperative activities in biotechnology, corn and wheat breeding, and education and communication. Activities will include joint research; exchanges of faculty, scientists and graduate students; and exchanges of scientific materials, including germplasm.

"This is an outstanding opportunity for Iowa State plant sciences' faculty and students to work together with the scientists at CIMMYT, which has one of the world's leading programs in corn and wheat breeding," said Colin Scanes, interim director of the Plant Sciences Institute.

The agreement was signed in late August when a group of ISU faculty and administrators visited CIMMYT headquarters. In addition to Scanes, the group included Prem Paul, associate vice provost for research; Patrick Schnable, agronomy professor and director of the Institute's Center for Plant Genomics and the Center for Plant Transformation and Gene Expression; and Michael Lee, agronomy professor and associate director of the Institute's Center for Plant Breeding.

Founded in 1966, CIMMYT is an internationally funded, nonprofit research and training center focused on improving the profitability, productivity and sustainability of maize and wheat

systems in poor countries. CIMMYT collaborates with about 100 nations and has outreach staff in 14 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Two CIMMYT scientists were awarded the World Food Prize on Thursday for development of a high-protein corn.

The Plant Sciences Institute at Iowa State University consists of eight research centers. Its goal is to become one of the world's leading institutes for plant science research, education and unbiased research-based information. Researchers are developing ways to help feed the growing world population, strengthen human health and nutrition, improve crop quality and yield, foster environmental sustainability, and expand the uses of plants for biobased products and bioenergy.


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