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  • Yield10 Bioscience Inc.

Yield10 Bioscience makes key advancements in development of herbicide-tolerant camelina


Camelina

Yield10 Bioscience Inc. announced Feb. 21 key advancements for enabling weed control for camelina cultivation and for supporting grower adoption of this crop for the biofuel feedstock oil market.


Control of broadleaf weeds is essential for the adoption and success of commercial crops in North America.


The development of herbicide-tolerant camelina is a crucial element in achieving large-acreage adoption of the crop by farmers.


Yield10 is focused on the development of herbicide-tolerant camelina to realize the full potential of the crop.


In the 2022 spring growing season, Yield10 demonstrated for the first time that its herbicide-tolerant spring camelina lines were tolerant to application of a commonly used broadleaf herbicide.


In the fall 2022-’23 growing season, Yield10 retested its lead commercial candidate herbicide-tolerant spring camelina lines in field trials in the Southern U.S. and the successful results were replicated. These herbicide-tolerant spring camelina lines were also tolerant to the application of a grassy weed control product.


Further seed scale-up and field testing of the company’s lead commercial herbicide-tolerant spring camelina lines are expected to continue in 2023.


A request for regulatory-status review (RSR) with USDA-APHIS Biotechnology Regulatory Services for herbicide-tolerant camelina under the SECURE Rule was filed by Yield10 in 2022, and a response from the agency is pending.


“Our team has made substantial progress developing elite herbicide-tolerant spring and winter camelina varieties,” said Kristi Snell, the chief science officer at Yield10 Bioscience. “The results of our Southern U.S. winter field trials with the single herbicide-tolerant trait in our spring camelina lines as well as recent greenhouse studies on our next-generation stacked herbicide-tolerant trait package, which includes broadleaf weed control and tolerance to group 2 herbicide soil residues, indicate we remain on track to launch herbicide-tolerant camelina varieties. Our goal is robust weed control enabling growers to plant with confidence on a large scale. In 2023, we look forward to conducting further field testing and seed scale-up activities for our commercial-quality herbicide-tolerant lines, advancing development of our stacked herbicide-tolerant lines, and accelerating our regulatory efforts in support of commercial launch of these important camelina varieties to supply low carbon-intensity feedstock oil to the biofuels market.”


A summary of recent advancements in Yield10’s development of elite herbicide-tolerant spring and winter camelina varieties:


Development of commercial-quality herbicide-tolerant E3902 spring camelina. Yield10 confirmed tolerance to over-the-top spray application of a commonly used broad-leaf herbicide in a second field trial of E3902 Herbicide-tolerant spring camelina conducted at two sites this winter in contra-season. Broad-spectrum herbicides have been used to protect seed yield by controlling broadleaf weeds during commercial crop production for over 30 years. In this field trial, Yield10 also demonstrated that its E3902 herbicide-tolerant spring camelina is tolerant to application of Clethodim, a herbicide used to manage grassy weeds. In 2023, Yield10 plans to conduct further seed scale-up activities and field tests of its lead herbicide-tolerant E3902 spring camelina lines.


Development of stacked herbicide-tolerant E3902 spring camelina. Yield10 researchers have developed multiple E3902 spring camelina lines with “stacked” herbicide-tolerance traits. In recently completed greenhouse studies, these E3902 camelina lines were tolerant to a broad-leaf herbicide application as well as to soil residues of group 2 herbicides (“IMI”/imidazolinones and “SU”/sulfonlyurea), which are commonly used to manage weeds in cereal and other crop rotations. Based on achieving proof-of-concept for stacked herbicide-tolerant camelina, Yield10 plans to conduct the first field tests of stacked herbicide-tolerant E3902 spring camelina lines in spring 2023.


Development of stacked herbicide-tolerant winter camelina. Yield10 researchers have developed candidate broadleaf herbicide-tolerant winter camelina in WDH2 and WDH3 germplasm. In recently completed greenhouse studies these candidate winter camelina lines demonstrated tolerance to spray application of commercial levels of a commonly used broadleaf herbicide. These events are on-track for field testing in winter 2023-’24. Yield10 is also developing “stacked” herbicide-tolerance traits in its winter camelina lines with the goal of conducting its first field tests in winter 2023-’24.


Regulatory process for herbicide-tolerant camelina is underway in the U.S. A request for RSR with USDA-APHIS Biotechnology Regulatory Services for Yield10’s broadleaf herbicide-tolerant camelina under the SECURE Rule was filed by Yield10 in 2022 and a response from the agency is pending. In the future, Yield10 intends to file additional requests for RSR, where applicable, to deregulate its herbicide-tolerance traits and to work with chemical manufacturers to add camelina to herbicide product labels in instances where camelina is not currently listed.


About the SECURE Rule

The SECURE Rule was published May 18, 2020, and represents the first comprehensive revision of APHIS’s biotechnology regulations since 1987. The revisions enable APHIS to regulate organisms developed using genetic engineering for plant pest risk with greater precision and reduces regulatory burden for developers of organisms that are unlikely to pose plant pest risks. Once a specific plant developed through genetic engineering is found not to require regulation, new varieties of the plant containing the same genetic modification would similarly not be regulated. Camelina plants containing herbicide-resistance traits are subject to labeling under EPA regulations.

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