Thousand Oaks agricultural biotech Ceres Inc. announced Tuesday it has licensed its genome visualization application to Bayer CropScience.

The application, Persephone, is software that allows researchers to explore DNA databases in much the same way online mapping programs allow users to explore geographic regions and places.

Persephone has been designed to display diverse data such as genetic maps, genomic sequences, gene models and more.

"The explosion of low-cost full genome DNA sequencing, from plant science to biomedical research, is creating incredibly large data sets that are rich sources of information if mined effectively,” said Ceres Chief Executive Richard Hamilton, in a statement.

The multi-year software license and collaboration agreement is non-exclusive to the crop science unit of Bayer AG in Germany, and will include Ceres providing support, customizations and maintenance. Financial details were not disclosed.

Persephone was originally developed for in-house use by Ceres in its efforts to find a market for its genetically engineered sweet sorghum seeds to harvest ethanol in Brazil.

The company has struggled in recent years as demand for its sorghum seeds have been less than anticipated, prompting Ceres to announce in October it would lay off about 20 percent of its workers. The company has yet to report a profit since going public in February 2012.

Shares closed down 4 cents, or 5.7 percent, to 74 cents on the Nasdaq.