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  • Yield10 Bioscience Inc.

Yield10’s winter-camelina varieties show tolerance to common herbicides in 1st field tests


Yield10 Bioscience Inc. reported Feb. 29 that its proprietary varieties of winter camelina sativa in development responded as expected to herbicides in the first field tests conducted in the United States.


Yield10 tested winter camelina engineered with tolerance to glufosinate, an herbicide widely used to manage weeds and protect yields in crop rotations in North America, as well as camelina with stacked glufosinate and Group 2 tolerance (“Stacked HT”), to provide tolerance to Group 2 herbicide residues in soil persisting from use on prior crops.


Yield10 believes that herbicide-tolerant and stacked herbicide-tolerant traits in camelina are critical to enabling grower adoption of the crop and planting on large acreage to produce feedstocks for biofuel and omega-3 oil for the aquafeed and nutrition markets.


Yield10 has previously reported herbicide tolerance in spring camelina, where the company has selected lead and back-up commercial-quality lines for development.


In fall 2023, Yield10 researchers initiated the first field tests of candidate winter camelina deployed with stacked herbicide-tolerant traits intended to provide the plants with tolerance to the application of glufosinate, an over-the-top broadleaf herbicide, as well as tolerance to soil residues of Group 2 herbicides, specifically including tolerance to both imidazolinones (IMI) and sulfonylureas (SU).


Group 2 herbicides are commonly used to manage weeds in cereal and other crop rotations and can persist in the soil for months following use.


Prior to planting, the test fields were pretreated with Group 2 herbicides (two weeks prior to planting) to generate plots with soil residues of either IMI or SU herbicides.


The winter stacked herbicide-tolerant camelina and control camelina without herbicide tolerance were subsequently planted.


Preliminary interim results of these field tests indicated that Yield10’s stacked herbicide-tolerant winter camelina performed well on the field plots pretreated with Group 2 herbicides.


By comparison, significant injury was observed to control winter camelina grown on soil containing IMI or SU residues.  


This spring, these winter field plots will be sprayed with glufosinate for broadleaf weed control.  


Yield10 researchers also initiated in fall 2023 the first field tests of candidate winter camelina lines deployed with the trait that provides tolerance to the spray application of glufosinate.


The winter camelina was planted, and the field plots were subsequently sprayed with glufosinate in accordance with the field-trial design.


Winter camelina engineered with glufosinate tolerance remained healthy, while field plots of camelina without the herbicide-tolerance trait did not survive the spray.


Additional spraying of glufosinate on the winter herbicide-tolerant camelina is planned this spring.


Yield10 expects to harvest the winter field-test plantings this summer and conduct an evaluation of its seed yield, oil content, herbicide tolerance and overall agronomy.


“Our focus on the development of herbicide-tolerant and stacked herbicide-tolerant camelina is intended to provide significant differentiation of our elite camelina varieties from conventional varieties while potentially enabling growers to seamlessly integrate camelina production into their crop rotations on a large-scale,” said Kristi Snell, Yield10’s chief science officer. “Stacked herbicide-tolerant technology is particularly important for planting winter camelina in the fall after harvest of the previous crop. The encouraging results from the first field testing of our winter herbicide-tolerant and stacked herbicide-tolerant camelina varieties marks another milestone in our camelina program and demonstrates the leadership position we have established deploying new traits into camelina to potentially drive the value of the crop.”


In November, USDA-APHIS determined that Yield10’s glufosinate-tolerant camelina as well as its stacked herbicide-tolerant camelina may be planted and bred in the United States in response to two requests for regulatory status review packages submitted by Yield10.


An application to add camelina to a glufosinate label is pending with U.S. EPA.



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