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2017 Overview of Global GMO Developmentqrcode

Mar. 14, 2018

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张静松-AgroPages Jason Zhang
Jason Zhang

Jason Zhang, Editor of AgroPages. Email: jason@agropages.com

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In 2016, global GMO planting areas rebounded quickly after the declination in 2015. According to ISAAA, GMO planting areas of 2016 reached 185.1 million hectares, 3 percent up year on year, being roughly 5.40 million hectares. Besides the increase in planting areas, more and more GM crop varieties have been approved and also commercialized. According to an estimation of Cropnosis, the GM crop market value of 2016 accounted for 35 percent of the total seed market. In 2017, with the rebounce of grain prices (2017 FAO price index being 3.2 percent up versus 2016) and the positive change of GMO policies in all countries, worldwide GMO planting areas are expected to continue to increase. In 2017, there are 102 GMO approvals all over the world, which cover 65 varieties, six of which are new crop varieties (Table 1) being respectively potato (one variety), sugarcane (one variety), corn (one variety), soybean (one variety) and rapeseed (two varieties). Among them, the sugarcane CTC 20 BT approved in Brazil is the first GM sugarcane approved worldwide.

China’s Ice-Breaking GMO Development

In 2017, global GM crops developed quite well in general, especially in China, where ChemChina completed its acquisition of Syngenta and the 100-day plan was agreed upon between China and the US, which brings positive effect to China’s GMO development. In 2017, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture approved 18 GMO varieties, 4 of which cover new varieties and 14 are renewals. These approved GMO varieties include soybean, corn, rapeseed, cotton and sugar beet, being approved for “use for processing”. The year of 2018 is likely to be a critical year for commercialization of GM crops. Back in 2015, China’s 13th Five-Year Plan included the phrase “promotion of commercialization of GM crops”, thus the year of 2020 will be the dead-line year for GMO commercialization. As each step of breeding and mass planting needs certain period of time, the common understanding reached among the industry is that if GMO commercialization is still not initiated in 2018 there would be a certain degree of difficulty in reaching the set target by 2020. As a follow-up to the GMO commercialization target set forth in the 13th Five-Year Plan, in April 2016 the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture announced a program to promote a pest-resistant corn variety. According to Dai Jingrui, the professor of China Agricultural University and an academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, in China there have been so far 20 plus GM corn varieties applying for GMO cert and their products have reached the state of readiness for commercialization, just waiting for permit.

The fundamental reason for the hesitation of commercialization lies on the lack of a consensus at central government level, which however should not last too long. Chinese government has spent more than Yuan20 billion on GMO researches. Since 2008, lots of enterprises have also given hundreds of millions of inputs. If no commercialization is carried out, enterprises would not be able to sustain any further development, even if government may still continue to allocate funds for GMO researches for the sake of national food security. A GM corn research leader of a Chinese enterprise says that each year the company spends around Yuan100 million on research having lasted for seven years. The research leader expresses that if no commercialization is carried out in large scale the company cannot sustain any further development, saying that the company is currently thinking about the possibility of commercialization of their product in a foreign country like Argentina, then applying for GMO cert and “import” the product to China.

The Issue of Resistance

Over recent years the issue of resistance has become a hot subject pertaining into GMO commercialization. According to an article published in Nature Biotechnology, the pest resistance to GMO Bt Cry increased from the 3 cases in 2005 up to the 16 cases in 2016. It is vitally important that enterprises should think about how to maintain the pest-resistance property of GM crops and the weed’s sensitivity to pesticide so as to limit farmer’s use of pesticide. Here we would invite the two experts from Syngenta and Bayer to share with us their ideas.

Michiel Van Lookeren Campagne, Syngenta Head Seeds Research: “Resistance is a natural biological response to repeated use of the same control technology. It is not linked to any specific technology, and farmers have been in a continuous battle with disease resistance and pest shifts for centuries, applying a multitude of technologies. At Syngenta, through our integrated offers, we are able to provide holistic solutions to help growers manage insect and weed resistance.

In order to tackle this issue, effective resistance management strategies should include:

  • Best Management Practices
  • Insect-resistance management practices
  • Crop rotation to non-host crops such as soybean
  • Planting refuges
  • Rotating or combining multiple modes of action against target pests
  • Stacked traits

The most effective way to manage resistant weeds is to apply multiple effective modes of action. Our products have increased food security for many years but there are always new challenges, such as changing climate conditions and resistance. We try to anticipate these and are constantly seeking innovative solutions, like our recently launched Agrisure Duracade® corn, which offers multiple modes of action against corn rootworm (CRW) and above-ground insects to control 16 yield-limiting pests. Agrisure Duracade 5122 E-Z Refuge is available with multiple modes of action against CRW and corn borer, plus a single mode of action against ear-feeding insects. ”

Frank Terhorst, Global Head of Seeds for Bayer: “We recognize weed resistance as a serious threat to a healthy, strong and sustainable agricultural sector. Bayer’s Integrated Weed Management program tackles the problem of weed resistance and helps to preserve and enhance productivity through customized agronomic solutions.

Our weed control research takes a comprehensive and future-oriented approach, and our aim is to provide farmers all over the world with new diagnostic tests, herbicides with new modes of action, and a wider choice of high-performing herbicide tolerance traits. The scientists and specialists employed at our Weed Resistance Competence Center in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, test and develop new solutions and share our knowledge with the international agricultural community.

Our global initiative against weed resistance, ‘Diversity is the Future,’ promotes the fundamental shift in thinking and acting required by everyone in farming. To successfully combat weed resistance, we need diversity in non-chemical weed management through, for example, crop rotations and cultivation methods, as well as diversity in the herbicidal modes of action. In many countries, local programs are already supporting farmers in their struggle against resistant weeds. In Europe, for example, mainly cereal crops are affected by resistant weeds such as blackgrass, silky bent grass, wild oats and ray grass.”

Gene Editing

Over recent years, the gene editing technique represented by CRISPR has developed intensively, particularly, the year of 2017 is an important year of gene editing for application to agricultural sector. The new breeding technique reduces significantly the time frame of breeding, due to its high-efficient and accurate genomic reediting. In the meantime, as the product formed by gene editing is free of exogenous gene, thus the industry players and many government authorities believe that such a product should not be governed by GMO supervision and regulation. The special features of gene editing allow for reduced cost of breeding and it has become possible for small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in trait development. No small number of people hold the view that this technique has a higher chance of substitution of GMO in a couple of years ahead. Concerning the new breeding technology, the two experts from Syngenta and Bayer would give us their opinions.

“We see genome editing and other Plant Breeding Innovations (PBIs) as complementary to GMO technology. PBI’s are additional tools in a plant breeder’s toolbox used to develop better varieties of plants. Those plants are bred to meet the evolving needs of growers around the world,” Michiel said.

“GMO technology allows us to use genes from different species to add functionality to a crop. E.g. we can use a gene from a bacterium to produce a protein in crops that can confer resistance to insect damage. Genome editing technology - as the term implies - is a tool used to edit genes already present in the crop, so is much more constrained in its scope. It improves on conventional breeding by making intentional, specific and beneficial changes in the plant genome providing the same genetic diversity that would be available via traditional breeding, but in a faster and more directed way,” He added.

“Both technologies can be used to efficiently develop plant varieties that improve plant health, nutritional quality and yield, and we expect both technologies will continue to be utilized in suitable markets and crops around the world,” Michiel concluded.

“For Bayer and agriculture, the potential of genome editing to deliver better plants more precisely is enormous. This method has the potential to cut the development time of new plant varieties to less than half of what it is today (today being ten years on average), so that innovative products get to the grower and the consumer more quickly. At Bayer, our research is focused on improving plants in a precise, efficient and responsible way. We think it is absolutely vital that we engage in an open dialogue with stakeholders to address persisting concerns and communicate the benefits of both gene editing and GM technology,” Frank also shares his ideas.

Table 1 Biotech/GM crop approvals in 2017
Company/Products*(Event name)
GM Trait
Country/Region
Approved use
Syngenta
Maize1 (3272 x Bt11 x MIR604 x TC1507 x 5307 x GA21)
Glufosinate & Glyphosate HT, Coleopteran & Lepidopteran IR, Multiple IR, Modified alpha amylase, MM
Columbia
Food use
Agrisure® Viptera™ 2100 maize (Bt11 x MIR162)
Glufosinate HT, Lepidopteran IR, MM
Mexico, Columbia
Food use
Maize1 (Bt11 x MIR162 x MIR604 x MON89034 x 5307 x GA21)
Glufosinate & Glyphosate HT, Coleopteran & Lepidopteran IR, Multiple IR
Canada
F, F&C
Agrisure® 3122 maize (BT11 x 59122 x MIR604 x TC1507 x GA21)
Glufosinate & Glyphosate HT, Coleopteran & Lepidopteran IR, MM
EU
F&F
Agrisure® Duracade™ maize (5307)
Multiple IR, MM
China
F&F
Maize1 (MZHG0JG)
Glufosinate & Glyphosate HT
Malaysia, South Korea
F&F
Taiwan
Food use
Agrisure™ CB/LL maize [Bt11(X4334CBR,  X4734CBR)]
Glufosinate HT, Lepidopteran IR
Singapore
Food use
Agrisure™ Viptera maize (MIR162)
Lepidopteran IR, MM
Singapore
Food use
Agrisure™ RW maize (MIR604)
Coleopteran IR, MM
Singapore
Food use
Maize1 (Bt11 x TC1507 x GA21)        
Glufosinate & Glyphosate HT, Lepidopteran IR
Mexico
Food use
J.R. Simplot Co.
Innate® Cultivate potato (E12)
RAP, RBS
New Zealand, Australia
Food use
Potato1(W8)
RAP, RBS, Fungal Disease Resistance
Canada
F, F&C
New Zealand, Australia
Food use
Innate® Acclimate potato (X17)
RAP, RBS, Fungal Disease Resistance
Canada
F, F&C
New Zealand, Australia
Food use
Innate® Hibernate potato (Y9)
RAP, RBS, Fungal Disease Resistance
Canada
F, F&C
New Zealand, Australia
Food use
Innate® Generate potato (F10)
RAP, RBS
New Zealand, Australia
Food use
Innate® Accelerate potato (J3)
RAP, RBS
New Zealand, Australia
Food use
Potato1 (E56)3
RAP, RBS
New Zealand, Australia
Food use
Genective S.A.
Maize1 (VCO-Ø1981-5)
Glyphosate HT
South Korea
Feed use
Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira (CTC)
Sugarcane 1 (CTB141175/01-A)3
Lepidopteran IR
Brazil
F, F&C
Verdeca
Verdeca HB4 Soybean (IND-ØØ41Ø-5)
Drought stress tolerance
USA
Food use
Monsanto
Genuity® Roundup Ready™ 2 Xtend™ soybean (MON87708)
Glyphosate & Dicamba HT
Turkey
Feed use
Soybean1 (MON87769)
Glyphosate HT, Modified oil/fatty acid
Singapore
Food use
Cotton1 (COT102 x MON15985 x MON88913 x MON88701)
Glufosinate & Glyphosate & Dicamba HT, Lepidopteran IR, AR, Visual marker
Taiwan
Food use
Cotton1 (MON88701 x MON88913)
Glufosinate & Glyphosate & Dicamba HT
Taiwan
Food use
South Korea
Feed use
Maize1 (MON87419)
Glufosinate & Dicamba HT
Japan, South Korea, Taiwan
Food use
Soybean1 (MON87705 x MON87708 x MON89788)
Glyphosate & Dicamba HT, Modified oil/fatty acid
Taiwan, Mexico
Food use
South Korea
Feed use
Maize1 (Bt11 x MIR162 x MON89Ø34 x GA21)
Glufosinate & Glyphosate HT, Lepidopteran IR, MM
Taiwan, Mexico
Food use
South Korea
Feed use
Soybean1 (MON87751 x MON87701 x MON87708 x MON89788)
Glyphosate & Dicamba HT, Lepidopteran IR
Taiwan
Food use
South Korea
F&F
Maize1 (MON87427 x MON89034 x TC1507 x MON87411 x 59122)
Glufosinate & Glyphosate HT, Coleopteran & Lepidopteran IR
Taiwan
Food use
South Korea
F&F
Maize1 (MON87403)
Increased Ear Biomass
Taiwan, South Korea
Food use
Maize1 (MON87427 x MON89Ø34 x MIR162 x NK603)
Glyphosate HT, Lepidopteran IR, MM
Columbia
Food use
Soybean1 (MON87751)
Lepidopteran IR
Columbia
Food use
Maize1 (MON87427 x MON89034 x TC1507 x MON87411 x 59122 x DAS40278)
Glufosinate & Glyphosate & 2,4-D HT, Coleopteran & Lepidopteran IR
Canada
F, F&C
Vistive Gold™ soybean (MON87705)
Glyphosate HT, Modified oil/fatty acid
Turkey
Feed use
Maize1 (MON88701 x MON88913 x MON15985)
Glufosinate & Glyphosate & Dicamba HT, Lepidopteran IR, AR, Visual marker
Taiwan
Food use
InVigor™ x TruFlex™ Roundup Ready™ Canola (MON88302 x MS8 x RF3)
Glufosinate & Glyphosate HT, Male sterility, Fertility restoration
Taiwan
Food use
EU
F&F
Maize1 (MON87427 x MON89034 x MIR162 x MON87411)3
Glyphosate HT, Coleopteran & Lepidopteran IR
South Korea
F&F
Mexico
Food use
Roundup Ready™ Maize, Agrisure™GT (GA21)
Glyphosate HT
Singapore
Food use
TruFlex™ Roundup Ready™ Canola (MON88302)
Glyphosate HT
Singapore
Food use
Soybean1 (MON87769)
Glyphosate HT, Modified oil/fatty acid
Singapore
Food use
Soybean1 (MON87708 x MON89788 x A5547-127)3
Glufosinate & Glyphosate & 2,4-D HT
Mexico, South Korea
Food use
Bayer CropScience
GlyTol™ cotton (GHB614)
Glyphosate HT
Malaysia
F&F
Cotton1 (T304-40)
Glufosinate HT, Lepidopteran IR
Malaysia
F&F
Fibermax™ Liberty Link™ cotton (LLCotton25)
Glufosinate HT
Malaysia
F&F
Cotton1 (GHB119)
Glufosinate HT, Lepidopteran IR
Malaysia, EU
F&F
Glytol™ x Twinlink™ x VIPCOT™ Cotton (GHB614 x T304-40 x GHB119 x COT102)
Glufosinate & Glyphosate HT, Lepidopteran IR, AR
Brazil
F, F&C
Canola1 (MON88302 x RF3)
Glufosinate & Glyphosate HT, Fertility restoration
Taiwan
Food use
Canola1 (MS11)3
Glufosinate HT, Male sterility, Fertility restoration
USA
F, F&C
New Zealand, Australia
Food use
Soybean1 (FG72 x A5547-127)
Glufosinate & Glyphosate & Isoxaflutole HT
EU
F&F
Dow AgroScience
Maize1 (MON89034 x TC1507 x NK603 x MIR162)
Glufosinate & Glyphosate HT, Lepidopteran IR, MM
Canada
F, F&C
Mexico, South Korea
Food use
Enlist™ Maize (DAS40278)
2,4-D HT
EU, Malaysia
F&F
Cotton1 (3006-210-23 x 281-24-236 x MON88913 x COT102 x 81910)
Glufosinate & Glyphosate & 2,4-D HT, Lepidopteran IR, AR
South Korea
Food use
Soybean1 (DAS81419 x DAS44406)
Glufosinate & Glyphosate & 2,4-D HT, Lepidopteran IR
South Korea
Food use
Enlist™ Soybean (DAS68416-4)
Glufosinate & 2,4-D HT
EU, Malaysia
F&F
Soybean1 (DAS44406-6)
Glufosinate & Glyphosate & 2,4-D HT
EU, Malaysia
F&F
Soybean1 (DAS81419)
Glufosinate HT, Lepidopteran IR
Malaysia
F&F
Japan
F, F&C2
BASF
Cultivance soybean (CV127)
Sulfonylurea HT
Turkey
Feed use
Monsanto/BASF
Genuity® DroughtGard™ maize (MON87460)
Drought stress tolerance, AR
Turkey
Feed use
Monsanto/ Forage Genetics International
HarvXtra™ alfalfa (KK179)
AR, Altered lignin production
Singapore
Food use
Monsanto/Dow AgroSciences
Widestrike™ Roundup Ready Flex™ Cotton (3006-210-23 x 281-24-236 x MON88913)
Glufosinate & Glyphosate HT, Lepidopteran IR
EU
F&F
Monsanto/Scotts Seeds
Roundup Ready™ Creeping Bentgrass (ASR368)
Glyphosate HT
USA
Food use,  Cultivation
Bayer CropScience/Syngenta
Herbicide-tolerant Soybean line (SYHTØH2)
Glufosinate & Mesotrione HT
Columbia
Food use
Argentina
F, F&C
DuPont (DuPont Pioneer)
Canola1 (73496 x RF3)3
Glufosinate & Glyphosate HT, Fertility restoration
South Korea
F&F
Soybean1 (DP305423 x GTS 40-3-2)
Glyphosate & Sulfonylurea HT, Modified oil/fatty acid
Columbia
Food use
EU
F&F
Treus™, Plenish™ soybean (DP305423)
Sulfonylurea HT, Modified oil/fatty acid
Malaysia
F&F
Note: * if the products have no trade name,  only show the crop type;
1 trade name is not available; 2 for Type 1 only; 3 new GM product varieties approved in 2017
F&F = Food and Feed use; F, F&C = Food, Feed and Cultivation; HT = herbicide resistance; IR = insect resistance; MM = Mannose metabolism; AR = Antibiotic resistance; RAP = Reduced Acrylamide Potential; RBS = Reduced Black Spot.
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