Seed World

Cibus is Preparing to Commercialize a New Pod Shatter Reduction Trait

Cibus announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted the company a patent for its Pod Shatter Reduction (PSR) Trait. The PSR Trait, developed using the company’s Rapid Trait Development System (RTDS), strengthens the sheath that contains the Canola (oilseed rape) seeds and, in so doing, reduces pod shatter yield losses, the company says.

Pod shatter refers to the pre-harvest release of oilseeds when the pod seam and connective tissue of the sheath that contains the canola seeds breaks apart and releases the seeds. This occurs due to either a weakened pod seam or pod fracturing due to bad weather.

Cibus’ PSR Trait reduces these yield losses due to pod shatter. PSR is called a Productivity Trait because it is part of a class of agricultural traits that address productivity and sustainability in farming by improving crop yields and lowering costs like diesel, fertilizer, and crop protection chemicals.

“Pod Shatter Reduction is an excellent example of the power of what we can accomplish with our patented RTDS precision breeding platform,” said Greg Gocal, EVP and CSO at Cibus.

“It is a highly effective trait that has been developed using RTDS and has been validated in field trials over several years. We are preparing for the commercialization of PSR in the United States and Canada. We are expecting that our Pod Shatter Reduction Trait will be one of the first gene-edited traits launched in Europe subject to legislative changes in the UK and EU.”

Canola is a major global crop that is now planted on more than 50 million acres in North America, Europe, and Australia. It is second only to soybean as the most important annual crop source of vegetable oil in the world. Reducing pod shatter is a critically important trait for Canola farmers because pod shatter can result in yield losses of 10% or more and increased expenses in farming practices during harvest.

Cibus’ PSR Trait increases yields but also lowers the cost of farming by improving the flexibility for straight combining of canola and wheat, providing farmers the option to harvest wheat at the best possible time for the grain quality, according to the company.

“Canola is a foundational crop for Cibus. Following PSR, we have a pipeline of additional Productivity Traits for Canola developed using RTDS. These include traits for Sclerotinia resistance and nitrogen use efficiency. Importantly, these are all traits that are critical to addressing farming sustainability as they would increase yields and lower the use of inputs like fuel, fungicides, pesticides, and fertilizers. Once developed, we believe that each of these traits will be important in many different crops,” said Rory Riggs, Chairman and CEO at Cibus.

Source: Cibus