Plant Improvement

We improve plants to meet the needs of our customers

Farmers, growers, processors and customers count on us to continuously improve seeds in order to help them to succeed in their jobs in a sustainable way.

Plant improvement specialist examines a tomato flowerPlant breeding is the science of adapting the genetics of plants for the benefit of mankind. The overall aim of plant breeding is to improve the quality and agricultural performance of crops with the objective of developing plants better adapted to human needs.

Plant improvement consists of creating new varieties from existing plants by crossing plants chosen for their desired qualities, then selecting the best of them for ongoing development and cultivation. For the past thirty years, the range of tools available to breeders has increased considerably through the development of technologies used to aid researchers in the field and in addition to the use of laboratory-based analysis to increase the capacity of plant characterization. Using sophisticated computer models to understand the genotype and phenotype, the relationship between the genetic information and the plant characteristics, breeders and researchers can improve their ability to identify the best plants from the crossing of genetic resources.

Breeding programs at HM.CLAUSE

At HM.CLAUSE we breed in excess of 25 important vegetable species from arugula to zucchini. We have breeding locations in 13 countries involving over 700 people. We believe that it is important to work in collaboration with our marketing and sales colleagues in order to ensure that we are close to our customers – in order to understand their needs and to design our breeding programs to meet the demands of the marketplace.

Research effort

Our research effort is fully integrated into our breeding programs with the express purpose of accelerating the development of new and improved products. Our breeders, plant pathologists, cell biologists and molecular geneticists are members of transversal teams focused on specific targets in marketplace.

We have three major R&D locations that serve as a base of operation for some of our breeding activities, but also serve as important locations for global and regional platforms.

At our La Bohalle Research Center in western France, we support our global R&D activities with a genotyping platform, cell biology activities in support of breeding effort with temperate species, and global pathology research. We also develop new cauliflower, broccoli, fennel, arugula, endive, and corn salad seeds here.

In Davis, California, adjacent to the University of California at Davis, our team develops new melon, tomato, cucumber, squash, pumpkin, watermelon and pepper products. In addition, we support our breeders with plant pathology and cell biology research.

In the south of France, in Saint Remy de Provence, we focus on advanced phenotyping research that is coupled to our global new trait breeding effort in cucurbits. Saint Remy is also home to our melon, sweet pepper, tomato, and squash breeding programs which largely target Europe, Middle East and Africa.