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Posted 10 November 2008. PMN Crop News.

Breakthrough Genetic Solution for Clubroot Coming Soon

Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.

Chatham, Ontario (November 6, 2008)–Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, is poised to provide canola growers in clubroot-affected areas with a new solution to this devastating problem. The company, with assistance from industry experts and independent researchers, is racing to bring a new canola hybrid to market next year that provides genetic resistance to the disease.


“This breakthrough will have tremendous benefits to canola growers in areas of Alberta where the disease has become a significant issue, therefore it is critical that we get this hybrid to market as soon as possible,” comments Ian Grant, president and business director of Pioneer Hi-Bred Limited in Canada. “We are working hard to get seed into the hands of growers for seeding next spring,” he adds.

The new canola hybrid demonstrated similar yield potential to leading commerciallyavailable hybrids, contains the Roundup Ready® trait as well as strong agronomic characteristics. Once registered, it will be the first and only one of its kind on the market. Pioneer Hi-Bred researchers developed this hybrid by transferring non-genetically modified clubroot-resistance into elite Pioneer genetics.

In 2008, several candidate hybrids were field-tested in the Edmonton area in locations where the clubroot strains were known to be present. “By testing hybrids under heavy disease pressure, we get an accurate indication of the true resistance,” comments Dave Charne, Pioneer Hi-Bred research director. One of the test hybrids showed a high level of resistance to the clubroot strains in those fields.

“When the trials were evaluated, the new hybrid was shoulder height and the roots were healthy,” confirms Charne. Another Pioneer hybrid without the resistance genes was used as a check. “That hybrid was only knee high and the roots were mushy,” he says.

With these strong performance results and realizing the urgent need of having a genetic solution to this disease in the market place, Pioneer Hi-Bred will seek early registration of this hybrid in 2009.

“We know how important having access to a resistant product is for canola growers in clubroot-affected areas. We are currently using winter production in South America to increase the amount of hybrid seed that can be available to growers for planting in 2009,” Charne adds.

“This genetic clubroot solution clearly demonstrates the depth and scope of Pioneer Hi- Bred’s research and production capabilities. Our commitment to canola growers is to produce as much seed as possible for this spring with a full-scale commercial launch in 2010,” Grant concludes.

As a premier seed supplier, Pioneer Hi-Bred is committed to providing value to the Canadian farmer through high quality products, exceptional science and unparalleled service. In Western Canada, the company is committed to building market share. In the last year, the company has more than doubled its field staff in the west and has opened a state-of-the-art $12 million canola seed production plant in Lethbridge, Alberta.

Established in 1946, Pioneer Hi-Bred Limited is Canada's premier seed company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business. Pioneer Hi-Bred is the world’s leading source of customized solutions for farmers, livestock producers and grain and oilseed processors. With headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, Pioneer provides access to advanced plant genetics in nearly 70 countries.

Rachel Faust
Communications Coordinator
Pioneer Hi-Bred Limited
519-352-6350, ext. 6722