Allan Wenck

Bayer

Allan Wenck

Head of US Trait Validation Operations, Bayer

As Head of US Trait Validation operations for Bayer Trait Research, Allan Wenck, PhD, JD, is responsible for all aspects of creating plants with novel traits. This includes design of trait expression cassettes, development of plant tissue culture methods, development and delivery of genetically enhanced plants, analysis of those plants and cultivation towards the production of seed for field trials. 

Allan began his career with the Forest Biotechnology group at North Carolina State University, where he developed a novel way of introducing new genes into Norway Spruce and Loblolly Pine trees. Allan has led groups involved in corn, wheat, barley and rice genetic enhancement at BASF and Syngenta. He also worked in agricultural science as a research technician for Clemson University’s Department of Entomology at the Edisto Research and Education Center in Blackville, South Carolina.  There, he was responsible for all aspects required to grow cotton, soybean and various other crops for research purposes.  His interests include science and intellectual property issues around science. Additionally, Allan is the current vice president for the Society for In Vitro Biology.

Allan received his Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Environmental Studies from Warren Wilson College, his Master of Science in Life Sciences (Plant Physiology and Genetics) from the University of Tennessee, his PhD in Biological Sciences (Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology) from the University of South Carolina and his Post-Doctoral Training at North Carolina State University. Allan also holds a Juris Doctor degree from North Carolina Central University School of Law.

From this Expert

Posted on March 28, 2017
Response from Allan Wenck, Head of US Trait Validation Operations, Bayer • June 12, 2017
Thanks for the question, which I will address in two ways here.   1. What are three ways that organisms are modified by scientists? Here I will focus only on plants.   a. Agrobacterium: Agrobacterium tumefaciens (Agro) is a naturally occurring soil organism that causes a disease in plants called crown gall disease. In the late 1970s, Mary-Dell Chilton discovered that Agro actually transfers genes (DNA) from the Agro to the plant cell, where it becomes integrated into the plant... Read More
Posted on December 2, 2015
Response from Allan Wenck, Head of US Trait Validation Operations, Bayer • January 21, 2016
Plants can be modified in several different ways.    In 1907, scientists discovered bacteria that caused a gall (growth) to form on many different plant species.  However, it was not until 1977 when Mary-Dell Chilton (winner of the World Food Prize for this work) discovered that the plant produced this growth because the bacteria transferred a small piece of DNA (containing several genes causing faster growth) to the plant.  In other words, the bacteria generated a... Read More
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