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Benson Hill and CTC Establish Partnership in Sugarcane to Increase Yield

July 11, 2014

ST. LOUIS & PIRACICABA, Brazil--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Today Benson Hill Biosystems, an agricultural biotechnology company, and CTC - Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira, a market leader in Brazilian sugarcane, announced the establishment of a partnership to develop and commercialize traits to increase sugarcane crop yield.

The partnership will involve translation of Benson Hill’s technology from its Setaria viridis model plant platform to CTC’s commercial sugarcane varieties for further development and commercialization.

“Increasing crop yields by improving photosynthesis has the potential to significantly alter the Brazilian sugarcane market,” said William Burnquist, CTC’s director of research and development. “Benson Hill’s focus and capabilities in photosynthesis trait discovery and development make them the ideal partner in this category. We are very pleased to be working together and to look forward to incorporating these promising technologies in our pipeline.”

Sugarcane is grown on more than 9 million hectares in Brazil with a typical five-year crop cycle producing more than 400 metric tons of biomass per hectare. Despite its immense economic importance to the bioenergy sector and for worldwide sugar production, increasing the intrinsic yield of this crop has been unaddressed by biotechnology, the most adopted technology in modern agriculture.

“CTC has a track record of providing to growers higher-yield sugarcane varieties, and this relationship affords us an ideal channel to the largest sugarcane market in the world,” said Matthew Crisp, president and CEO of Benson Hill Biosystems. “This organization has the vision, aptitude, commitment, and zeal to leverage innovations from small companies like Benson Hill to deliver value and increase sustainability for its stakeholders. We look forward to a productive and long-term partnership.”

About Benson Hill Biosystems

Benson Hill Biosystems is an agricultural biotechnology company focused on the development of traits to increase intrinsic crop yield. The company employs an integrated, systems-based approach to trait discovery and validation, and has developed a robust pipeline of next-generation trait candidates. Benson Hill and its partners are dedicated to addressing the foremost challenge in sustainable production agriculture – boosting crop yields on existing acreage and with limited inputs. More information can be found at

About CTC - Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira

CTC is recognized as the largest sugarcane technology center in Brazil and one of the most renowned in the world. The center develops innovative research in all aspects of the supply chain of sugarcane from conventional breeding, transgenic products and 2G ethanol. Headquartered in Piracicaba, state of Sao Paulo, Brazil, CTC began its research in 1969 and currently is a corporation whose shareholders represent 60% of the sugarcane grown in Brazil. More information can be found at

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Source: Business Wire

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