Development of Rigorous and Reliable Methods to Preserve Maize Pollen

Period of Performance: 07/20/2016 - 12/31/2016


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

3051 104TH ST STE B Array
Urbandale, IA 50322
Firm POC, Principal Investigator

Research Topics


The seed industry generates tremendous value from hybrid crops relative to varietal or self-pollinated crops. For example, while corn (a hybrid crop) and soybeans (a self-pollinated crop) were planted on approximately the same land area in the U.S. in 2015, the total value of the corn hybrid seed industry was greater than 4x the value of the soybean seed industry. However, producing hybrid seed is expensive relative to self or open-pollinated crops. In some crops, such as soybeans and wheat, the biology of the plant is prohibitive to the economical production of hybrid seed, thus disabling the realization of the benefits of hybridity in these crops. Enabling a crop such as wheat to be produced as a hybrid would have an annual value exceeding several billion dollars.This project will develop methodsto extend the viability of pollen and enable on-demand use of the pollen. On-demand use of pollenin seed productionwill improve and enable hybrid seed production, thus improving agricultural productivity and food availability.