Submit Your Proposal or Idea

Genome editing for broad-spectrum disease resistance in crop plants

maize gray leaf spot


Each year, plant diseases and pests cause up to 40% yield loss worldwide, with plant disease losses alone of around US$220 billion (FAO).  At Corteva Agriscience, we are taking on this challenge by developing robust, sustainable solutions to crop disease. One part of our integrated approach to disease control involves applying CRISPR-Cas genome editing technologies to accelerate the development of disease resistant plants. 

As part of this effort and our commitment to building strong collaborations, Corteva invites scientists from both the public and private sectors to submit brief proposals for genome edits that have the potential to confer broad-spectrum disease resistance in three key crops - maize, soybean, and canola.  Resistance to more than one species of non-bacterial pathogens or the majority of races of the same non-bacterial pathogen is of particular interest. 

For selected proposals we will work with you to develop an effective collaborative approach with access to Corteva genome editing expertise, seed from edited plants of the chosen crop*, and an opportunity to engage with our scientists on topics such as genome editing and transformation methods for trait and crop improvement.  Awardees are expected to perform phenotypic analysis of the edited plants and to share those results with Corteva and, if desired, with the broader research community through scientific publication.  Subsequent collaborative opportunities with Corteva may be available.

At Corteva Agriscience, our goal is to develop effective, sustainable, and durable solutions to agricultural challenges. Please join us in this effort to improve broad-spectrum disease resistance in crops through CRISPR-Cas genome editing.


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Submission deadline:
January 31, 2022 by 5pm PST 

Who Should Apply

Scientists at universities, nonprofit research institutions and small companies


Vector design and synthesis
Scientific consultation
Genome edited seed*

What Are We Seeking?

We are seeking short, non-confidential proposals that describe the potential impact of the proposed genome edits to the host plant for broad spectrum disease resistance to non-bacterial diseases.  Proposals should also include a brief description of the planned phenotypic analysis of edited plants (guidelines available for download below).

Our goal is to translate knowledge into impact in agriculture.  As such, priority will be given to proposals exhibiting the highest predicted disease resistance improvement with the lowest complexity of edits.


Approaches of interest:

  • Approaches expected to result in resistance to two or more pathogen species or the majority of races of a single pathogen
  • Approaches leading to qualitative or quantitative disease resistance will be considered – qualitative resistance will be prioritized
  • Novel, creative solutions to broad-spectrum disease resistance that can be generated through genome editing
  • Application of resistance mechanisms from different plant species to crop plants


Approaches not of interest:

  • Resistance specific to bacterial pathogens is not of interest.  However, resistance mechanisms known to function against bacterial pathogens that can be leveraged to other types of pathogens may be considered.
  • Approaches solely focused on understanding mechanisms of disease resistance (e.g., edits that result in disease susceptibility, implicating a gene’s role in resistance) are not of interest. Instead, we are seeking proposals for edits that lead to strong resistance phenotypes.


Proposals should include include a title, an abstract of no more than 250 words, and a project description not to exceed 1,000 words including:

  • A concise description of the proposed genome edits’ potential to confer broad spectrum resistance in crops, including supporting evidence (literature or data; figures may be uploaded separately in a single file)
  • Selected crop species for editing: maize (PHR03), soybean (Williams 82), canola (Westar) - please explain if your proposal requires an alternative variety for editing
  • The pathogen species to which the proposed edits are predicted to confer resistance
  •  A description of the type of resistance expected (e.g., qualitative vs. quantitative resistance, effector- vs PAMP- triggered immunity, disruption of a susceptibility gene, etc.)
  • Description of the proposed edit(s) at the gene level (details at the nucleotide level to be requested upon selection)
  • Type and number of edit(s) requested (e.g., frameshift knockout, specific nucleotide edits, in-frame deletion of a specific region, etc.)
  • Sufficient details to convey the phenotypic analysis strategy for measuring the effect(s) of genome editing
  • Supporting citations as applicable

Who Should Apply?

  • Scientists at universities, nonprofit research institutions, and small companies/startups (<50 full-time employees) with the ability to carry out the phenotypic analysis of edited plants


What Should You Expect?

For submissions received by 5:00pm PDT, January 31, 2022:

  • We will evaluate your submission and notify you of its status by March 31, 2022.

  • A Corteva Agriscience Open Innovation representative will contact selected finalists to arrange a virtual discussion and provide further details.


For selected proposals: 

  • Submitters will engage with Corteva scientists to develop an effective collaborative approach for generating edits and assessing edited plant phenotypes.  This will be subject to an agreement between Corteva and the awardee’s institution.
  • Intellectual property ownership and publication rights for awarded edits to remain with awardees and their home institution.


How Can We Help?

Awarded submissions may receive the following:

  • Genome editing vector design and synthesis
  • Seed transformed with the awardee’s edit(s) of choice for non-commercial, research-only use*
  • Molecular characterization data of edited plants
  • Scientific consultation as needed during/after the project


*Transfer of seeds may be limited depending on geographic location and regulatory, stewardship, and home institution requirements


For questions, please contact Kathy Munkvold.