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DuPont Names Glyphosate, ALS Tolerant Trait Optimum™ GAT™


ANAHEIM, Calif., March 2, 2006, DuPont today announced that its new proprietary glyphosate, ALS-tolerant trait from its subsidiary, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., will be branded as Optimum™ GAT™. The Optimum™ GAT™ trait is targeted for commercialization later in the decade in a number of crops.

In addition to unsurpassed glyphosate tolerance, this new proprietary trait from DuPont also has tolerance to herbicides designed to complement glyphosate by providing additional contact and residual control on grass and broadleaf weeds, giving growers the flexibility to tailor weed control programs to local field conditions.

“We’re very excited about offering this new technology that takes a great system and makes it better,” said Dean Oestreich, president of Pioneer, who made the announcement at the Commodity Classic convention and tradeshow, with Jim Collins, president, DuPont Crop Protection.

“By combining the Optimum™ GAT™ trait with our industry leading soybean products, farmers will enjoy even more significant yield advantages, along with improved weed control options,” he said.

Yields of soybeans with the new gene will not be held back as they are by today’s glyphosate tolerant traits; a difference university research suggests could be more than five percent.

“Farmers know and trust the DuPont family of sulfonylurea herbicides which our scientists discovered and brought to market. It’s literally the best of both worlds the benefits of glyphosate and ALS chemistry, all in one seed,” said Collins.

Featuring a unique glyphosate tolerant mechanism, the Optimum™ GAT™ trait binds with glyphosate, transforming it into a metabolite that does not harm the plant.

The added flexibility of Optimum™ GAT™ is gained through the trait’s tolerance to ALS herbicides, which include popular active ingredients in the sulfonylurea and imidazolinone families. This added ALS tolerance, stacked with glyphosate tolerance, gives growers multiple options of herbicides against difficult-to-control and glyphosate-resistant weeds.

Common weeds throughout North America that have become difficult to control with glyphosate include wild buckwheat, morningglories, waterhemp, lambsquarter and ragweeds/marestail.

The Optimum GAT trait can allow for higher glyphosate application rates and a wider application window than other products currently available. This gives growers greater confidence in its performance and ability to deliver crop safety.

Optimum™ GAT™ is the first-ever agricultural trait developed through gene shuffling, a method designed to enhance plant performance. This is a highly sophisticated technique based on the simple principle of transforming traits with poor properties into traits with higher value.

DuPont has the exclusive right to use gene shuffling for agricultural purposes. Gene shuffling technology should help Pioneer identify and develop a number of next-generation traits to help plants perform better against agronomic and environmental stresses, including numerous diseases, plant pests and drought.

DuPont expects the Optimum™ GAT™ trait to receive full U.S. registration for use in soybeans and corn as early as 2009. The company is also pursuing the necessary regulatory approvals in other world markets.

The GAT brand name for the trait is derived from “Glyphosate ALS Tolerant”. The new Optimum brand umbrella also will house future proprietary traits from Pioneer.

Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., a subsidiary of DuPont, is the world’s leading source of customized solutions for farmers, livestock producers and grain and oilseed processors.

DuPont Crop Protection serves the global production agriculture industry with leading products for grain and specialty crops, forestry, vegetation management, fruits and vegetables, and has also entered the professional pest control market.

DuPont is a science company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.


®, ™, SM trademarks and service marks of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.


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