Source: BASF news release

BASF SE and Cibus, a plant trait development technology company, announced that they have reached a research milestone for developing Clearfield Production System plants in Brassica winter oilseed rape and in spring canola.

Cibus' patented Rapid Trait Development System was used to enhance the tolerance levels of spring canola plants to BASF's Clearfield herbicides. Data from both greenhouse and field trials show that the new generation of products demonstrates enhanced tolerance levels to Clearfieldherbicides. Additionally, the new Clearfield traits will enable canola breeders to develop high yielding hybrids more quickly with greater efficiencies.

Alyson Emanuel, BASF Director, Global Strategic Marketing Herbicides, said, "We are very pleased with the success of the next generation of Clearfield products. BASF worked with Cibus to develop seeds using Cibus' Rapid Trait Development System technology to target a specific trait not previously achieved with other technologies and the results have been outstanding. As a result of the development of this new proprietary herbicide tolerant trait using the RTDS process, seed companies will be able to put this unique trait into hybrids more efficiently, leading to increased on-farm yields."

Production improvements are beneficial for both farmers and seed company producers, and this novel development will enable a more cost effective hybrid development program to provide farmers with higher yielding, superior performing hybrids for the Clearfield Production System in oilseed rape/canola. BASF said it anticipates commercializing the new trait as early as 2013.

Cibus' proprietary gene conversion technology, Rapid Trait Development System, enables trait development that is quicker to market with less regulatory expense. The Rapid Trait Development System technology is a non-transgenic approach for providing plant improvements as compared to classical genetic transformation. BASF's flagship brand in herbicide tolerance weed control, the Clearfield Production System, matches agronomically advanced seed varieties with custom-designed imidazolinone herbicides that provide extended grass and broadleaf weed control to the farmer.

"This innovative new technology adds further confirmation that valuable traits can be developed in plants without the insertion of foreign DNA into plants," Cibus Chairman Stephen Evans-Freke said. "This is a milestone development for Cibus and BASF. RTDS technology has broad applications to develop traits in many different types of plant species. The RTDS technology is very precise, allowing companies such as BASF to bring their improved products or traits to market quicker and at lower costs compared to other technologies. Cibus is committed to developing other non-transgenic traits for agriculture."