World leaders in pollination control
World leaders in pollination control
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S3E3 – Mark Messmer


Dr Mark Messmer, VP of Breeding and Product Delivery at CoverCress, Inc, is breeding a well-known winter annual weed into a cash crop that benefits farmers’ bottom line and the environment.  

In this episode of the Plant Breeding Stories podcast, Mark explains why this particular project brought him out of retirement after a long, successful career in the seed industry. We learn about the challenges that the CoverCress team has to overcome to breed wild pennycress, a winter annual weed, into a commercial crop.  He also discusses the potential markets for this new oilseed crop, including biofuel, animal feed and food production uses, and gives us a glimpse of what it takes to commercialize a new crop through the eyes of a startup company.