Corteva announces plant breeding innovation to combat corn disease

Corteva is advancing a new technology that will help bolster disease resistance in corn.

Tom Greene, trait discovery leader for Corteva says the technology uses CRISPR gene-editing and will help farmers better manage diseases on their farms.  “Our ability to be very precise, select that gene that is already in the corn, move it to a new location, and deliver that disease package in a different way brings better and more robust disease tolerance,” he says.  “Because we’re selecting improved alleles that is really hard for our breeders to get access to today.”

He tells Brownfield this technology is a game changer. “With this approach, we’re able to identify the best native trait resistance from our global germplasm pool,” he says.  “If you look at our concept today, seven of those eight traits that we’re putting in a single location come from non-North American germplasm.”

Greene says the gene mapping capabilities also helps Corteva to place the native resistant genes in a single location in corn hybrids that are already performing well.

In 2021, diseases like Northern leaf blight, Southern rust, gray leaf spot, and anthracnose stalk rot combined cost North American corn growers 318 million bushels of production.

He says the multi-disease resistance concept is intended to simplify disease management and improve sustainability by reducing the need for additional crop protection product applications. This advancement will also meet Corteva’s sustainable innovation criteria for new products, which are based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

This plant breeding approach is initially being applied to the diseases that most concern North American farmers, but Greene says it has the potential to be scaled to other crops, incorporate other diseases or be otherwise tailored to specific geographies.

Corteva expects this concept to advance to commercialization by the end of the decade.

AUDIO: Interview with Tom Greene, Corteva

AUDIO: Corteva Announcement at Commodity Classic 2023

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published.


Stay Up to Date

Subscribe for our newsletter today and receive relevant news straight to your inbox!

Brownfield Ag News