The Authority

The Authority

The Authority


Agribusiness published Tue, 2014-08-12 11:22

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Heartland Plant Innovations (HPI) has announced the hiring of Dr. Muhammad Asif as its new Chief Scientist.  Asif will be charged with leading HPI’s scientific efforts including novel trait development as well as the Advanced Plant Breeding Services.  HPI offers wheat doubled haploids, wide hybridization/trait introgression, and genotyping as services to customers world-wide.  All services are provided without claim to intellectual property which makes HPI attractive to wheat breeders working on advanced germplasm. 

Asif comes to HPI with over 10 years of experience in wheat improvement including doubled haploids – both maize and microspore method - marker assisted breeding, and variety development.  Asif most recently has served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Agriculture, Food Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Canada focusing on the development of genetic resistance from pyramiding rust (leaf, stem and stripe) resistance genes.  Asif’s graduate education was received at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada where he co-developed a hard red spring wheat germplasm line (PT771) which exhibits Fusarium Head Blight resistance.  Asif has written extensively, including two books recently published by Springer, USA.  The books are titled “Progress and Opportunities of Doubled Haploid Production”, and “Managing and Breeding Wheat for Organic Systems: Enhancing Competitiveness Ability against Weeds.”    

HPI’s Interim President and Chief Financial Officer, Rob Berard, speaking in regard to Asif’s hiring said “I am very excited to have Asif join HPI.  It was obvious based on his experience in wheat improvement that his research focus aligned with HPI’s mission, however in getting to know him during the interview process it became clear that this his personality was also a fit.  It became a simple decision to hire Asif.  I can’t wait to get him thinking about the work of HPI on a full time basis.  Our customers will benefit greatly, I am confident.”

HPI provides customers with advanced plant breeding services and high-value genetic traits.  HPI’s breeding services include wheat doubled haploids, wide hybridization, and genotyping.   HPI has produced and sold over 40,000 doubled haploids to 21 Universities, 5 USDA labs, and 8 private companies in 5 countries.  In late 2013, HPI relocated into the state-of-the-art Kansas Wheat Innovation Center which provides HPI with the capacity to produce up to 50,000 doubled haploid lines per year as well as development of wheat traits.  As a research partner HPI is sponsoring multiple research programs at Kansas State University focused on wheat and sorghum.  These projects are seeking to increase the yields and end use performance of wheat, based on input from our industry partners. 


Terratek® Flex, the Market’s First Compostable Elastomeric Bioplastic

Agribusiness published Wed, 2014-03-12 10:43

Terratek® Flex, the market’s first compostable elastomeric bioplastic, can be used as an impact modifier for polylactic acid (PLA), increasing impact strength, elongation and flexibility without sacrificing compostability.

Green Dot’s Product Development Manager, Mike Parker, will present his findings on the efficacy of Terratek® Flex as an impact modifier for PLA at the the Global Plastics Environmental Conference (GPEC) in Orlando, Florida on March 13, 2014. Mr. Parker analyzed the physical properties of PLA modified with Terratek® Flex over a range of loading ratios. He will discus how levels of Terratek® Flex can be customized to achieve desired cost and performance.

Terratek® Flex is the market’s first elastomeric bioplastic to be certified to meet U.S. (ASTM D6400) and E.U. (EN 13432) standards for compostability. The rubber-like material is strong, durable and pliable. It has been tested by NSF International laboratories to be free from phthalates, bisphenol A, lead and cadmium. When compounded with PLA, Terratek® Flex can enhance physical properties, increasing impact strength, elongation and flexibility without sacrificing compostability.

GPEC is presented by the Society of Plastics Engineers’ (SPE) Plastic Environmental Division (PED). The conference focuses on the unique blend of recycling, reclamation and bioplastics.  

About Green Dot Holdings LLC - Green Dot is a bioscience social enterprise headquartered in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas. The company serves the plastics industry and style conscious consumers with a full line of biobased and compostable materials sold under the Terratek® brand name. Green Dot aspires to improve the environment in which we live by building a more sustainable world with renewable biobased resins and promoting their use through invention, creation and research. Learn more at www.GreenDotPure.com.


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