from the October 2007 issue

Evogene signs Monsanto development deal

Evogene Ltd. (TASE:EVGN) will collaborate with Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) to improve nitrogen use efficiency in corn, soybeans, canola and cotton. The deal comes one day after the company reported a collaboration with Ormat Industries Ltd. (TASE: ORMT) subsidiary Orfuel Inc. to develop oil-rich plants for the production of biodiesel. Evogene rose another 11.5% in morning trading today. Monsanto received the exclusive right to a number of genes discovered by Evogene that help plants maintain yield with lower applications of nitrogen. Monsanto will examine the effect of the genes on the improved absorption of nitrogen in the seeds. The genes have potential features that complement Monsanto's R&D programs for improving nitrogen absorption and could be an opportunity for improving products in this field.

The companies note that nitrogen fertilizer represents one of the largest input costs in agriculture; it accounts for approximately one-fifth of the operating costs for a corn producer. In the US alone, farmers spend more than $3 billion annually on nitrogen fertilizer application of corn fields, with plants typically absorbing less than half of the nitrogen fertilizer applied.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report October 2007

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