History of Pro-Maïs
Founded on March 23, 1967, PRO-MAÏS is a non-profit association open to all seed companies doing maize species breeding research in France.
Its purpose is to conduct studies on maize species and contribute to maize improvement
The association was created from the interaction between two visionary men, Jean-Pierre Monod, a farmer representative of the Co-ops, and André Cauderon, Research Director at INRA.
Since its formationPro-Mais has been a « club of breeders » devoted to managing with INRA the exchanges and collaborations needed for improvement of maize hybrids.
Of the original 25 members, 9 continue, only due to mergers among those original member companies.
INRA and Pro-Maïs initiated a common action in 1983, supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to collect a large number of populations, and study and preserve the genetic variability of that assembled.
Starting from 1236 maize populations of diverse origin, 32 pools were created according to their combining ability and made available to breeders. This program which lasted 10 years was called « Populations sources ».
Since 1993 research programs have increased the diversity and strength of their germplams through this effort.
The PPS2 and then PPS2c, « Flints diversity » 1,2,3 explored diversity and history of maize in Europe.
The program « Diversity Zea » followed in 2009 with the objectives of exploring the global diversity of the species, including its wild ancestors, and helping breeders in their research of genetic gain and drought tolerance.
J.P. Monds described Pro-Maïs as a successful example of a public/private collaboration, based on an innovative organizational structure based on a « flexible and balanced partnership ». This partnership accounts for:
- The practical management of genetic resources entrusted to INRA of Montpellier
- Members of Pro-Maïs co-finance equipment needed for the conservation of Genetic Resources
- Members manage the multiplication of all genetic material.
- Members manage the testing of INRA inbreds within the « GELI » network.
- Members co-finance on a voluntary basis, the research projects on maize and entrust the main part of that research to INRA labs and stations.
Président from 1967 to 2006