Research & Development at MAS Seeds®

For over 75 years, MAS Seeds® has collaborated with farmers for developing of high yielding, durable hybrids that are responsive to changing climate and farmers’ needs. Each seed variety has a decade of research, development and innovation behind it. As a result, our track record makes us a trusted, sustainable partner for farmers across 50 countries. We create hybrids that deliver high and secure top yields and help farmers adapt to a changing climate through development of disease-tolerant, drought-proof and high nutrient hybrids.

3 main research programs


  • Very early to late leafy & digest silage​
  • Very early to late grain​
  • Tropical maize​


  • Very early to late sunflower​
  • Herbicide tolerance technologies​
  • Linoleic & high-oleic types​
  • Broomrape, mildew and black rust tolerances​

AGRO-ECOLOGY and crops for diversification

  • Product development for cover crops, forage mixtures, soybean, alfalfa, winter oilseed rape and sorghum
  • Agroecology solution designs such as: mix cropping, relay cropping and intercropping

Breeding for farm sustainability

Providing innovative and sustainable seed portfolio is one of the major ambitions for MAS Seeds® so that we can positively impact agriculture and provide sustainable solutions for the world of today and tomorrow. New constraints are making farmers’ work more complex. The researchers have been anticipating these changes for many years, and are continuously trying to improve the seeds. Therefore creating sustainable genetic on the top of our breeding priorities:

  • Enhanced genetic tolerance against water scarcity
  • Genetic tolerance against increasing disease pressure
  • Secure feed efficiency in changing climate
  • Yield stability and adaptation to climate change and regional conditions

Modern breeding methodologies to increase genetic gain and resilience in changing climate

By carefully selecting and combining traits through crossbreeding, market assisted genomic selection, using envirotyping and data driven research to excel approach we aim to create improved hybrids that contribute to sustainable agriculture and effectively address the evolving challenges of farming.

Genomic analysis of extracted plant material


With the help of molecular genetic markers we select only plants only with desired characteristics for our breeding programs. It helps us increase genetic gain of complex traits per unit time and cost. We use genomic data to estimate the genetic potential of lines or hybrids. This information helps identify genetic material more accurately and at an earlier stage of development making our breeding process more precise, efficient and rapid.


We apply high-end genotyping methodologies to all our crops to develop the best varieties for you. In partnership with NSIP we develop predictive breeding technologies to bring genetic innovation into the world market, faster and more precisely by by leveraging advanced technologies and data analysis to forecast the performance of potential crosses before even testing them in the field. This way we test combinations that are more likely to produce superior hybrids, thus increase breeding efficiency and speed.


We include comprehensive assessment of agro-climatic scenarios and models in breeding decisions and hybrid positioning as part of our variety development. This method allows us characterising the growing environment, including factors like soil type, temperature, moisture, and other variables, to understand how these conditions influence variety performance. By systematically analysing the interactions between genotype and environment, we can create resilient and adaptable varieties, contributing to sustainable agriculture in diverse and variable environments

Sunflower cross-fertilisation in the greenhouse


Crossbreeding or cross-fertilisation using pollen is oldest breeding method dating back to Mesopotamia, the beginning of agriculture of today. It involves the intentional blending of genetic material from two distinct parent plants to create offspring with desired traits. This long process allows enhancement of specific characteristics, such as increased yield, resistance to pests, or adaptability to diverse environments.

Sunflower parental line backcrossing


Parental line creation is the systematic development of stable and genetically uniform lines through successive generations. Breeders carefully and self-pollinate (fertilise plants with their own pollen and isolate) lines with desired traits to maintain genetic uniformity. This repeated cycles of self-pollination and selection, can span 5 to 10 years. The resulting reliable parental lines serve as crossing basis for hybrids creation to ultimately create improved plant varieties with consistent and desirable features.

Maize with controlled cross-fertilisation


In hybrid breeding two genetically distinct parent lines are cross-pollinated to capitalise on the heterosis effect, where the hybrid exhibits superior traits compared to its parents. Breeders carefully select parent lines with complementary characteristics, preventing self-pollination to ensure controlled fertilisation. The resulting hybrids demonstrate increased vigor, yield, or resistance, making hybrid breeding a crucial method for developing plant varieties with enhanced performance and productivity.

Key genetic innovations to face environmental challenges

WATERLOCK labeled grain maize hybrids offer a superior ability to thrive under drought stress conditions.

GREEN+ silage maize varieties secure silage quality under climate change, thanks to their genetic ability to delay the evolution of dry matter in leaves and stems and thus extend the period of photosynthesis.

HELIOSMART varieties have the highest genetic tolerance to three main sunflower diseases: Mildew, Sclerotinia and Verticillium, and thus secures the yield.

SAFETY+ winter oilseed rape hybrids safeguards the yield in cold climates with better early vigour and strong development before winter.

Research Locations

MAS Seeds® has ten R&D stations across Europe, West Africa and Central America, enabling to test and select genetic material and their offsprings adapted to wide range of geographical conditions. Our research stations are specialised in one or more crops depending on the location. Winter generation is managed by our Mexican site.

Maize hub
53 researchers

  • Laboratory & green houses
  • Trialing
  • Maize R&D seeds production and preparation
  • Maize parental lines management

RHODON, France
Multi-crop hub
15 researchers

  • Phenotyping for intensive and agroecological markets.
  • Sunflower parental lines management.

Silage Maize Station
9 researchers

  • Silage maize phenotyping
  • Maize trialing for Europe

Sunflower hub
15 researchers

  • R&D seeds production and preparation. Sunflower trialing for Europe

Multi-crop station
8 researchers

  • Maize and sunflower product characterization for extensive market

Multi-crop station
4 researchers

  • Pre-commercial phenotyping station.

KALISZ, Poland
Maize station
3 researchers

  • Grain and silage maize phenotyping station

Winter generation hub
7 researchers

  • Winter generation production of maize and sunflower R&D seeds®

Tropical maize station
5 researchers

  • Main station for tropical maize research and development.
  • Support for winter generation activities

AHOUATI, Ivory Coast
Tropical maize station
2 researchers

  • Pre-commercial  phenotyping station for tropical maize

R&D key figures


R&D stations

in France, Germany, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Mexico and Ivory Coast. 1 bimolecular lab in Haut-Mauco, France. 3 winter generation sites in Mexico, Chile and Argentine


Researchers, engineers and technicians

in R&D department

Act Together For A Changing Agriculture

Learn more about MAS Seeds® purpose