Thursday, July 25, 2024

Top 5 This Week

Clocking a More Comprehensive Weed Management Practice for US Rice Growers

Cibus, a leading agricultural technology company that develops and licenses Non-GMO plant traits to seed companies, has officially announced an agreement with Loveland Products, a subsidiary of Nutrien Ltd, to develop rice traits into the latter’s elite rice seed genetics. According to certain reports, the partnership will specifically focus on commercializing herbicide tolerance in rice, and it will do so more pervasively across the southern US market, where demand for novel approaches in weed control is at its highest. But how will the partners achieve their promised value proposition from a more actionable standpoint? Well, the answer resides in Cibus’ High Throughput Breeding Process (referred to as the Trait Machine™ system), A part of the company’s patented Rapid Trait Development System™ (RTDS®), the stated Trait Machine tends to integrate crop specific cell biology platforms with a series of gene editing technologies, thus paving the way for a system of end-to-end crop specific precision breeding. Now, while this is what other proprietary technologies in RTDS also do in their own unique manner, the Cibus’ Trait Machine system is actually the first standardized end-to-end semi-automated crop specific gene editing system that directly edits a seed company’s elite germplasm. Furthermore, leveraging again crop specific cell biology platform, the stated system is able to edit a single cell from a customers’ elite germplasm and grow that edited cell into a plant with the Cibus edits. Trait Machine is currently understood to be suitable for canola and rice, both the components for which it has already begun transferring the elite germplasm with Cibus edits back to customers.

Making the case of Cibus’ technology even stronger is how the traits developed using its wider RTDS-based High Throughput Breeding System are indistinguishable from traits developed using conventional breeding or from nature, thus indicating no sacrifices whatsoever on the quality front

“We are thrilled to work with the Loveland Products and Dyna-Gro teams to deliver new herbicide management options to rice growers,” said Norm Sissons, Senior Vice President Commercial at Cibus. “Importantly, our recent results using our Trait MachineTM to add traits like herbicide tolerance in rice show we can provide collaborators with new traits in their elite genetics on an accelerated timescale.”

Beyond technological prowess, Cibus’ credentials are also rooted in its ability to address critical productivity and sustainability challenges in agriculture, challenges such as diseases and other related elements, that cost the global economy roughly $300 billion every year. Using gene editing to develop and license traits for seed businesses in exchange for royalties on seed sales, the company is focused on providing productivity traits for major global crops, such as soybean, wheat, along with canola and rice. So far, Cibus has developed a pipeline of five productivity traits, including important traits for pod shatter reduction, Sclerotinia resistance, and weed management etc.

“Loveland Products is constantly striving to bring innovative solutions to the marketplace across the agricultural industry,” said Rob Dunlop, Vice President of North America seed at Nutrien. “We are excited to collaborate with Cibus to help address some of the most pressing weed management challenges of US rice growers.”