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Partner Spotlight: KWS Seeds LLC

Dr. Derek Bartlem

Partner Spotlight: KWS Seeds LLC

The August partner spotlight highlights the collaboration between FFAR and KWS on the Corn Drought Tolerance Project, demonstrating the importance of public-private partnerships to support innovative food and agriculture research advancements.

  1. What is the objective of the collaborative drought project? Depending on the specific environmental conditions, the way a plant responds to drought conditions may not always be the same. In order to better design future breeding programs that both enable increased yields and ensure crops are better positioned to be successful under water-limiting conditions, this project aims to generate new knowledge on how plant genes and traits interact and influence tolerance to drought.
  2. Has the project been impacted by climate change? One of the drivers for this project is ensuring we have knowledge in place to meet future challenges that will be placed on agricultural crops due to climate change. Reduced water availability, changing rainfall patterns and increasing frequency of drought during growing seasons are some of these future challenges.
  3. What will be the benefit to farmers if project objectives are met? As a public-private collaboration activity, the knowledge from this project will be made available to the broader agriculture and scientific community for greatest impact. The knowledge gained will support breeders to develop corn varieties that can grow in a broader range of climates and be better suited to tolerate a changing climate.
  4. How has KWS contributed to this project? In addition to supporting this through membership in the FFAR Crops of the Future Collaborative, KWS is also a direct funder for this project and provides design and strategy expertise to the project team.

The KWS Q&A spotlight was provided by Dr. Derek Bartlem, Head of Research USA, KWS and the KWS Corn Drought Tolerance project team.

Dr. Derek Bartlem, Head of Research USA, KWS

Dr. Derek Bartlem started his assignment at KWS as Head of Research USA in April 2014. He is a plant scientist with nearly 20 years of domestic and international scientific research experience, with a strong focus on understanding how plants respond to challenges from the environment at the cellular and molecular level. Dr. Bartlem holds a Bachelor of Science (1997) from Murdoch University (Australia), a Master in Agricultural Chemistry (1999) and a Ph.D. (2002) from Hokkaido University (Japan).