MONHEIM, GERMANY — Bayer CropScience and the National Agricultural Research and Development Institute (NARDI) in Fundulea/Romania have signed a license agreement that will grant Bayer access to winter wheat germplasm of NARDI. According to Bayer, NARDI’s germplasm pool is renowned world-wide for its winter hardiness, high tolerance against drought, broad disease resistance and good milling and baking quality. Financial details were not disclosed.

“Improving the productivity of wheat cropping will be critical to achieving global food security,” said Hartmut van Lengerich, head of cereals and fungicides at Bayer CropScience. “Our customers have turned to us to find new ways to help them. We have listened and are building a world-class research platform for wheat genetics. Our agreement with NARDI is another key building block in this strategy. To speed up development of new varieties, we have already entered into collaborations with the best partners in wheat research and breeding, reaching from Australia to Israel, France and Ukraine to the United States — and now Romania.”

Bayer CropScience, which is a subgroup of Bayer AG, had annual sales of €6.830 billion in 2010. It is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and traits.

NARDI Fundulea is recognized as the main agricultural research unit in Romania, due to the results obtained in breeding and crop management research and development regarding cereals, industrial and forage crops. NARDI’s 29 common wheat cultivars released since 1957 have had the largest share of the Romanian wheat seed market for more than 30 years, while 9 NARDI wheat cultivars have been released in other countries, such as Canada, Argentina, Hungary and Turkey.