- Cibus’ white mold (Sclerotinia) resistance trait in canola continues to show promising results in greenhouse and field tests
- Recent greenhouse tests support improved resistance on a second mode of action
- Trait is expected to enable yield improvement, cost reduction and lower usage of fungicides
SAN DIEGO, June 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cibus, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBUS), a leading agricultural technology company that develops and licenses plant traits to seed companies for royalties, today announced that it had additional greenhouse test results demonstrating successful resistance against White Mold (Sclerotinia) in canola. This greenhouse tests showed both an enhanced and an additional mode of action from previously reported field trial results of the Cibus Sclerotinia resistance trait. Together, these two different modes of action provide an increased level of resistance against Sclerotinia than each alone.
The core of Cibus’ gene editing technology is its Rapid Trait Development System™ or RTDS®. It is a system of proprietary technologies that integrate crop specific cell biology platforms with a series of gene editing technologies. RTDS enables the Trait Machine™, a stand-alone semi-automated end-to-end precision breeding system whose traits are indistinguishable from conventional breeding. Together with the Trait Machine™, RTDS allows for the successful development of these traits and the ability to address multiple modes of action.
“Our exciting new results signal that additional edits can lead to increased levels of Sclerotinia resistance in canola. Using our RTDS process, this complex approach to disease resistance can be generated more quickly as compared to a conventional breeding program,” stated Greg Gocal, Co-Founder, Executive Vice President, and Chief Scientific Officer of Cibus. “Importantly, these new results give us a strong early indication that developing durable resistance using gene editing is commercially relevant and possible.”
“We have identified multiple modes of action to generate resistance to white mold in canola specifically, and pests and diseases generally. These results are consistent with our work in disease resistance showing that complex traits comprising multiple modes of action are possible and can result in durable resistance to fungal disease,” said David Kendra, Executive Director of Disease Trait Development of Cibus.
“At Cibus we continue to improve the level of resistance to Sclerotinia in canola and recognize that the application of these traits can extend this to multiple crops and potentially multiple diseases,” said Peter Beetham, Co-Founder, President and Chief Operating Officer of Cibus. “This is important as climate continues to impact the speed of change and the geographies of diseases in crops. These new traits for major crops like canola will allow farmers to improve yields, lower costs, and reduce their use of crop protection products like fungicides.”
Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is a fungal pathogen, that causes significant disease (stem rot) in crops including oilseed crops and most legumes including soybean. It affects 14-30% of canola/oil seed rape (OSR) fields annually, and potentially up to 90% as estimated by the Canola Council of Canada in 2016. White mold can reduce canola yields by 7-15%, with yield losses per infected plant being as great as 50%. The Canola Council of Canada calls Sclerotinia stem rot the most economically significant canola disease in Canada. It is also a significant disease in soybean with a prevalence of sclerotia recovered ranged between 33.3% (2015) and 78.3% (2020) in soybean production regions and 9.1% (2013) in sunflower production regions. It is most prevalent in warm moist environments.
Cibus is a leading agricultural technology company that develops and licenses plant traits to seed companies for royalties. Cibus is a leader in the new era of gene-edited trait development, where plant traits (or specific genetic characteristics) that are indistinguishable from traits developed using traditional breeding are now created using gene editing. A key element of Cibus’ technology breakthrough is its patented RTDS® technology platform: the Trait Machine™ - the industry’s first semi-automated stand-alone trait production facility. Cibus’ Trait Machine™ materially changes the speed, breadth, and scale of trait development. This breakthrough is central to Cibus’ vision for the Future of Breeding: “High Throughput Gene Editing Systems operating as an extension of seed company breeding programs”. The ability to develop complex traits at a fraction of the time and cost of conventional breeding will be critical for addressing the sustainability challenges presented by climate change.
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