Bayer announces new mode of action

Bayer recently announced products it has in its research and development pipeline, including a new mode of action for post-emergence weed control.

The company had previously announced that it’s developing new molecules it said will provide new modes of action for in-crop weed control.

However, in a news release, it said it now has a molecule in phase two of early development that has demonstrated effective control of key resistant grasses in early research.

“The work demonstrates progress toward Bayer’s long-term commitment to investing approximately five billion euros in additional methods to combat weeds over the next decade,” the company’s release said.

“Discovery of this molecule is being complemented by a discovery-phase program to identify and develop a corresponding biotechnology trait to convey herbicide tolerance and initial approaches are under evaluation.”

The last new herbicide mode of action, HPPD inhibitor (Group 27) herbicides, was introduced more than 30 years ago.

A new mode of action is different than a new active ingredient because active ingredients are subsets of a mode of action.

Bayer also announced it’s getting closer to launching short corn varieties that will enable growers to have better in-season crop access that will make it easier to apply inputs such as nitrogen.

Both the breeding and biotechnology approaches to create short-stature corn are advancing to phase three of research, the release said.

The company said it’s also investing in a third pathway to short-stature corn, a discovery phase project that has achieved proof of concept through gene editing.

“Some short stature corn hybrids can also be planted closer together, enabling the production of more corn on the same amount of land and potentially reducing requirements for land and water,” the release said.

“Shorter stature will also help improve standability, including better green snap and stalk lodging tolerance, helping reduce crop loss from challenging environmental conditions such as high winds from extreme weather.”

A product expected to be launched this spring, pending regulatory approval, is XtendFlex soybeans, which could be the first commercially available soybean with triple-stacked tolerance to dicamba, glyphosate and glufosinate.

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