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Bayer CropScience and Brazil’s CTC to Partner On Research to Increase Sugar Content of Sugarcane for Biofuels

Bayer CropScience and the CTC—Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira, the Center for Sugarcane Technology, São Paulo, Brazil—intend to enter into a broad cooperation on the research and development of biotech sugarcane varieties. The main goal is to combine the expertise of both partners to develop varieties with higher sugar content, aiming to increase the production efficiency of ethanol.

Bayer CropScience plans to provide its technologies for introgression into CTC´s proprietary elite germplasm.

The new biotech varieties are expected to produce significantly higher amounts of sugar—early research results have indicated increases of about 30 to 40%. The products resulting from this cooperation are anticipated to be ready for submission for regulatory approval by 2015.

With the targeted cooperation, CTC aims to broaden its portfolio of biotech traits and Bayer CropScience supports its expansion of activities in plant biotechnology to sugarcane. The research and development activities of Bayer CropScience in sugarcane are currently focused on Brazil, where about 40% of the global production occurs.

Biotechnology is one of the priorities of CTC to add value to the sugarcane production and processing chain. We can envision a great increase in yield using our proprietary germplasm and Bayer’s technologies. Presently, sugarcane is the most competitive renewable energy crop and this collaboration with Bayer will further enhance this competitiveness.

—Nilson Boeta, CEO of CTC

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience AG, a subsidiary of Bayer AG with annual sales of about €6.5 billion (2009), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and traits. The company offers a range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications.

The CTC is recognized as the largest sugarcane technology center in Brazil and one of the most renowned in the world. It develops innovative research on all aspects of the sugarcane production chain, from breeding to the final production of sugar, ethanol and energy. With its main office in Piracicaba, state of São Paulo, Brazil, the CTC initiated research activities in 1969 and currently is an institution maintained by the majority of sugar mills and grower associations.



The current 7 to 8 high average energy gain with sugar canes could be raised to 10+ with improved hybrids. If so, deforestration may be accelerated in many tropical areas. Could improved sugar canes absorb as much CO2 as mature tropical forest?

Chris Jensen

The idea is to improve yeilds on existing cropland so that production of ethanol can be increased without additional deforestation. The demand for fuel will continue to rise (in the absence of a Global CO2 tax) and that fuel will be provided. Better to do it on existing land with higher yeilds that to expand onto new land with current yeilds.


Get cane to ethanol then gasify the stalks. Ethanol and or methanol does not matter to the FFVs there. Methanol is cheaper.


Improved yield = improved gain = more profits $$ = LESS TROPICAL FOREST.

That's human nature at its best.


I don't know how much forest that they cut down to plant cane, but I have heard that they clear forest to graze cattle for U.S. hamburgers.


I think the US should reduce the ethanol tariff with Brazil in return for them stopping Amazon rainforest deforestation and beginning reforestation. 50 percent reduction for complete halt to all deforestation. The remaining 50 percent reduction would only be for a major reforestation effort.


Sugar cane ethanol is way cheaper to make than any other known type. Improved canes will may it more attractive yet and many people and organisations will want to increase production and export it worldwide. Deforestration will certainly gain speed as long as it is not banned or restricted or until there are no tropical forests left in SA and Africa. That is human nature. CUT BABY CUT instead of DRILL BABY DRILL.



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