Johnston-based DuPont Pioneer and Mendel Biotechnology Inc., a California-based plant science company, have entered into a license collaboration to evaluate and commercialize new gene leads for increased water-use efficiency and improved photosynthesis in corn, the companies announced. Under the agreement, DuPont Pioneer and Mendel will evaluate the new gene leads and test them for yield-enhancement traits in Pioneer brand corn products. Mendel's prior research has identified technologies for next-generation yield traits in soybeans and other crops.