KWS video evaluates genome editing in plant breeding

Dr. Hagen Duenbostel, CEO of KWS
Dr. Hagen Duenbostel, CEO of KWS


KWS has published an informative video that explains the opportunities of genome editing in plant breeding and outlines the position of KWS. The video summarizes the most important features of genome editing and explains the potential held by this method.

Why does genome editing represent an opportunity for more sustainable agriculture? What possibilities are there to breed crops more quickly with greater resistance to diseases and pests? Why can some plants bred using certain genome editing methods be classified as nature-identical? What is still needed to be able to use genome editing?

These and other questions are answered in the video by Dr. Hagen Duenbostel, CEO of KWS, and Dr. Léon Broers, member of the Executive Board responsible for Research and Breeding. Their basic principle: To enable progress for sustainable agriculture, there must be a careful balance between scientific innovation and regulatory requirements. “Otherwise it will slow the advances in plant breeding that we believe are relevant for society worldwide,” says Dr. Léon Broers.

KWS is engaged in a dialogue with various stakeholders, and the video is a contribution to that dialogue. The goal is to further society’s acceptance of this innovative development. “One remarkable result of the international stakeholder dialogue that we recently held is that innovations in plant breeding are generally welcomed by all groups of society,” notes Dr. Hagen Duenbostel. “We realize that innovations such as genome editing are complex and difficult to understand. That is why we want to address the topic of genome editing and the contribution it can make toward sustainable agriculture. And that is why we encourage a nuanced dialogue that can enable appropriate decisions regarding the acceptance and use of this method.”

KWS scientists are currently evaluating potential applications of genome editing to be used in plant breeding. KWS, an independent company, invests about 17 percent of its net sales annually in research and development. Thanks to its innovative strength, KWS is granted about 400 marketing approvals for new varieties each year.

More about genome editing and the video can be found on the KWS website:

About KWS*

KWS is one of the world’s leading plant breeding companies. In fiscal 2015/16, 4,850 employees in 70 countries generated net sales of EUR 1,037 million and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of EUR 113 million. A company with a tradition of family ownership, KWS has operated independently for 160 years. It focuses on plant breeding and the production and sale of seed for corn, sugarbeet, cereals, rapeseed and sunflowers. KWS uses leading-edge plant breeding methods to continuously improve yield and resistance to diseases, pests and abiotic stress. To that end, the company invested EUR 182 million last fiscal year in research and development, 17 percent of its net sales. For more information: Follow us on Twitter ® at

*All figures exclude the companies carried at equity AGRELIANT GENETICS LLC., AGRELIANT GENETICS INC. and KENFENG - KWS SEEDS CO., LTD.


Mandy Schnell
Head of Communications
Phone +49-5561-311-334



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