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Bronze Sponsor

Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research, education and outreach aim to have impact at the nexus of food security and the environment and position the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science. The Center’s work is funded through competitive grants from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Follow us on Twitter at @DanforthCenter.


 Kira Veley   Research Scientist, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Kira Veley

Research Scientist, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Special Content Session - University Showcase

Project: SureFire HR

Genome editing is revolutionizing biology. However, precisely and purposefully changing the DNA sequence of an organism requires a process called HR, which remains a major bottleneck, especially for plants. SureFire HR is a method for the rapid identification of products of HR. This technology allows for the direct selection of successfully edited events early in the plant transformation process, saving substantial time and effort. In planta proof of principle has been achieved. Now, with a $1 million-dollar investment by the National Science Foundation, our team is applying SureFire HR to diverse traits and across a range of plants.

 Alex Harkess   Postdoctoral Fellow, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Alex Harkess

Postdoctoral Fellow, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Project: Exyne

Exyne is an emerging ag-biotech company improving the production of hybrid seeds by controlling the gender of crop plants. Our technology accelerates hybrid breeding by addressing long-standing bottlenecks: reducing tedious manual labor, eliminating self-pollination and transgene escape, and allowing for gender-specific trait stacking. With Exyne’s technology platform, plant breeders and seed companies can produce elite hybrid crops in fewer breeding cycles.