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Corteva, BASF, and MS Technologies team up to create soybeans with nematode-resistant trait

Enlist E3 soybeans will target soybean cyst nematode resistance with triple-stack herbicide tolerance.

Corteva and MS Technologies have licensed the Enlist E3 soybean trait to BASF for development with the nematode resistant soybean (NRS) trait in BASF germplasm. BASF has licensed its NRS trait to Corteva and MS Technologies for use in Enlist E3 soybeans. The three companies anticipate commercialization of Enlist E3 soybean varieties containing the NRS trait in the late 2020s, pending applicable regulatory reviews and completion of field testing.

The new NRS trait is expected to provide unprecedented protection against nematode pests in soybeans, including soybean cyst nematode (SCN). A common parasite in North America, SCN accounts for more than $1 billion in economic losses for U.S. farmers each year.

The NRS trait provides yield protection above and beyond the current industry standard native SCN resistance traits, including PI88788 and Peking, say BASF officials. It also protects against some of the most economically important nematode species for soybean farmers beyond North America, including Pratylenchus brachyurus, according to to BASF field trial data.

"Our nematode resistant soybean trait will be the first commercially available biotechnology trait developed to control nematodes," said Linda Trolinder, senior vice president of BASF seeds and traits R&D (research and development), in a news release. "BASF is in its fifth year of advanced field testing the NRS trait in the U.S., and in our trials, it has demonstrated an average 8% yield benefit above today's SCN-resistant varieties."

The Enlist weed control system features soybean varieties with tolerance to 2,4-D choline (Group 4), glyphosate, (Group 9), and glufosinate (Group 10) herbicides. Corteva officials say this herbicide-tolerant system gives farmers an additional option to manage resistant and hard-to-control weeds.

"The addition of the NRS trait to Enlist E3 soybeans is a logical next step for Corteva,” said Tim Glenn, executive vice president, seed business unit, Corteva Agriscience, in a news release. “Offering both trait technologies together will provide soybean farmers with additional functionality for pest management." The Enlist E3 soybean trait is jointly developed and owned by Corteva and MS Technologies and was commercialized in 2019.

"The agreement between MS Technologies, BASF, and Corteva enables access of Enlist E3 soybeans to more farmers in the United States and Canada," said Joseph Merschman, president of MS Technologies, in a news release. "We are excited to be working toward a new, sustainable option for farmers who want to manage weeds and nematodes in high-performing soybean varieties."

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