Ceres Claims Milestone

Thousand Oaks-based biotech seed developer Ceres said today that it has hit a milestone in its field evaluations, showing that its technology has been demonstrated to provide double-digit percentage increases in yield under drought conditions. The firm--which develops seeds specifically aimed at optimizing yield for both energy and food crops--said its field trials conducted in China show that its drought tolerance genes provide "significant improvements" in yield production in rice. The firm said it believes the genes it is developing can help provide 100 percent grain and biomass yields under water deficits of up to 30 percent. The firm did not say when or if it expects that technology to be introduced into commercial production.