Evogene Ltd. and Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. (MBI) have signed a multi-year collaborative agreement targeting the joint discovery of novel modes of biological action for insect control, followed by the development and commercialization of new pest control products by each company.

The target insects for the collaboration will be Lygus Hesperus, a sucking insect also known as the western tarnished plant bug; and Spodoptera exigua, a chewing insect commonly known as beet armyworm.

Both insects cause significant damage to a variety of major crops.

World-wide damage to crop production due to insects represents about 20 percent of global yield. It is expected to become an even greater problem in coming years.

In the agreement, Evogene will develop biotechnology insect resistance seeds while MBI will develop biologically-based insecticides. The parties have agreed on revenue sharing from all insect control products developed through the collaboration.

Evogene Ltd. is a leading plant genomics company specializing in enhancing crop productivity for the food, feed, and biofuel industries.

MBI is a leading global provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products.