DES MOINES -- DuPont met an important milestone toward the commercialization of its proprietary Optimum(TM) GAT(TM) trait today by completing its U.S. regulatory submissions for approval of the trait in soybeans.

This keeps the company on track for commercialization of soybean products containing the trait by 2009.

The Optimum(TM) GAT(TM) trait will give growers a new choice in glyphosate-tolerance soybean seed that maximizes yield potential, improves crop safety and expands weed control options. Currently more than 180 million acres in the United States are treated with glyphosate annually, including 90 percent of soybean acres.

"This is a significant step for DuPont," said Erik Fyrwald, DuPont group vice president, Agriculture & Nutrition. "These regulatory submissions keep us on track for commercialization of products starting in 2009 and allow us to meet farmer demand for better performing products with new weed control options."

DuPont has submitted regulatory information on the Optimum(TM) GAT trait to the USDA, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this fall.

The Optimum(TM) GAT(TM) trait is a proprietary herbicide-tolerance trait that DuPont plans to commercialize in corn, cotton and other crops, following its 2009 introduction in soybeans.

In addition to maximizing growers' yield potential and providing unsurpassed glyphosate tolerance, this next-generation herbicide tolerance trait was created to provide farmers with new weed control options. This includes the ability to incorporate complementary ALS herbicides offered by DuPont Crop Protection into a glyphosate program, giving growers the flexibility to tailor weed-control programs to local field conditions.

"We are very excited about bringing farmers a new choice that, in addition to maximizing yield and productivity, gives them longer lasting, broader- spectrum weed control under more conditions," said Fyrwald.

The Optimum(TM) GAT(TM) trait is the first-ever agricultural trait developed through proprietary DuPont gene-shuffling technology.

The Optimum(TM) GAT(TM) trait is licensed to Syngenta for use in corn and soybeans and to Delta & Pine Land for use in cotton. It will also be cross-licensed through GreenLeaf Genetics, a joint venture between Syngenta Seeds and Pioneer to out-license genetics and seed technology to other U.S. and Canadian seed companies.

Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., a subsidiary of DuPont, is the world's leading source of customized solutions for farmers, livestock producers and grain and oilseed processors.

DuPont Crop Protection serves the global production agriculture industry with leading products for grain and specialty crops, forestry, vegetation management, fruits and vegetables, and has also entered the professional pest control market.

DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

Optimum (TM) and GAT(TM) are trademarks of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.
Roundup Ready(R) is a registered trademark of Monsanto Company.

SOURCE: DuPont via PR Newswire.