US biotechnology giant Monsanto has announced it will share key genetic information to accelerate the development of a soybean with improved oils and more protein. This development will help develop healthier soy products for consumers worldwide while improving the economic value for US soybean farmers, the company said.

Monsanto said it would provide a series of bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)-end sequences for the soybean genome to the United Soybean Board. In return, the Board has agreed to provide the genetic sequence data to non-profit Better Bean Initiative participants who are funded through public resources.

The initiative was welcomed by industry. "This donation is one of the essential tools we will need to unlock the most beneficial traits within the soybean genome," said Don Latham, chairman of the Better Bean Initiative advisory panel and immediate past chairman of the United Soybean Board. "It will not only quickly accelerate our goal to develop the highest quality soybean for US soy producers, but reduce the amount of time and money it will take to achieve this goal."