Monsanto Company announced Monday that USDA has granted deregulated status for its MON88017 - a second-generation product combining its rootworm and Roundup Ready Corn 2 trait technologies in a single event - and MON88017 stacked with YieldGard Corn Borer.
MON88017 is a vector stack of Monsanto's Rootworm and Roundup Ready Corn 2 trait offerings. This means that the rootworm-control gene is already combined with the glyphosate-tolerance gene when the genetic package is inserted into the plant. Previously, corn hybrids containing both the corn rootworm protection and glyphosate tolerance traits have been developed by crossing two inbreds containing the individual traits using traditional breeding techniques. However, the traditional breeding process can be inefficient, requiring a longer development time. MON88017 was therefore developed using a transformation vector that contained both of the genes in one genetic package. This approach enables the simultaneous introduction of both traits into corn hybrids, thereby reducing breeding costs and increasing the speed at which elite corn germplasm can be provided to corn growers.
The product's YieldGard Rootworm corn technology allows the corn plant to naturally protect its roots against the damaging corn rootworm.
Monsanto is seeking the necessary regulatory clearances for MON88017 and MON88017 stacked with YieldGard Corn Borer on the U.S. state level and approvals in countries that are major importers of U.S. corn. Commercial launch timing for these products has not been announced.
This second-generation YieldGard Rootworm technology is expected to be made available for planting in corn hybrids through Monsanto's branded seed businesses - DEKALB and Asgrow - American Seeds, Inc. companies as well as through licensed, independent seed companies.