Evogene (NYSE:EVGN) appoints Yuval Ben-Galim as Chief Operating Officer effective September 15. Previously, he was responsible for global operations at MyHeritage, a family history firm. He replaces Assaf Kacen.
Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT) +3.2% and Mosaic (NYSE:MOS) +2.6% premarket following reports that Belarus may cooperate with Russian potash producer Uralkali for the first time since a dispute ended the alliance between the world's two biggest potash producers in 2013, triggering a fall in global prices that have not yet fully recovered.
Belarus Pres. Lukashenko hinted at cooperation during an event in Minsk but did not discuss his conditions; the previous joint venture was based in Minsk, at that time a crucial condition for Belarus and the main concern for Uralkali.
Lukashenko also said Belaruskali had signed a new potash supply contract with India, although the company later said it was still finalizing the deal; aside from Belaruskali and Uralkali, POT, MOS and Germany's K+S (OTCQX:KPLUY) supply potash to India.
Rehovot, Israel-based Evogene (NYSE:EVGN), a computational genomics company focused on improving crop productivity and economics for the food and feed industries, completes the first computational discovery round for microbial genes that have potential to control crop-destroying insects from the families Coleoptera (beetles/weevils) and Lepidoptera (butterflies/moths), including the corn rootworm and corn earworm.
The discovery round utilized the company's proprietary microbial database and a dedicated analysis platform called BiomeMiner. The candidate genes will be validated against target insects at its R&D site in St. Louis, MO. The work should be finished next year.
The current market for insect control traits based on microbial genes is ~$4.5B annually. The insecticidal genes are inserted into a target crop where they provide protection against certain harmful insects. Most of the current microbial gene-based products are derived from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, which insects have grown resistant to over the years.