Pioneer® brand canola hybrids with Optimum™ GLY herbicide tolerance (Optimum™ GLY Canola) are modified using proprietary gene shuffling technology. The introduction and constitutive expression of the GAT4621 (glyphosate acetyltransferase) enzyme confers tolerance to glyphosate-containing herbicides during both vegetative and reproductive phases of plant growth. Whilst still maintaining the native EPSPS enzyme pathway, the GAT4621 protein provides an alternative mechanism of tolerance to glyphosate, by acetylating glyphosate to N-acetyl glyphosate (Figure 1 below), rendering it non-phytotoxic. This detoxification mechanism is not based on the growth stage of the plant leading on to key differences in the glyphosate herbicide application guidelines and technology benefits.

Novel herbicide-tolerant canola technology from DuPont Pioneer aims to give Australian growers a wider window for applying glyphosate, so giving them increased flexibility with weed control.

Developed through proprietary gene shuffling technology, Pioneer® brand Optimum™ GLY Canola hybrids would provide a superior option for broad-spectrum, post-emergent weed control in canola. The new trait complements current herbicide tolerant offerings  including the Triazine and Clearfield® production systems.

Optimum™ GLY Canola would give growers more options to assist with responsible weed management. More details of the sustainable use of Optimum™ GLY Canola will be released in a herbicide resistance management plan, which is currently under development.

Canola growers need strong agronomic performance and defensive trait packages that include protection from damaging diseases such as sclerotinia and blackleg to ensure consistent yields. Optimum™ GLY Canola would be offered in combination with industry leading Pioneer Protector™ traits to help combat these diseases and other yield-damaging agents such as shattering and lodging.

FSANZ (Food Standards Australia New Zealand) approved a variation to the food standards permitting the sale and use of food derived from Optimum™ GLY Canola in May 2014.

The variation means that food derived from Optimum™ GLY Canola has been assessed as being as safe for human consumption as food derived from conventional canola already in the food supply. Food use approvals are also in place in the US, Canada and Mexico and applications are underway in the important export markets for Australian canola grain and oil.

Regulatory, agronomic and product development trials for Optimum™ GLY Canola are continuing in Australia in 2014.

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