OSU licenses new herbicide-tolerant wheat variety
OSU LICENSES NEW HERBICIDE-TOLERANT WHEAT VARIETY
(5/23/03) PENDLETON - Oregon State University's Wheat Breeding
Program will release a new variety of herbicide-tolerant wheat this
summer. With this new release, OSU enters a new era of product licensing
and intellectual property. Named ORCF-101, the new soft white winter
wheat variety contains a gene for herbicide tolerance patented by
the BASF Corporation, an international chemical company.
The gene makes the wheat tolerant to the BASF herbicide "Beyond."
The herbicide and the herbicide-tolerant seed are marketed together
as a production system called CLEARFIELD. Unlike some other herbicide
tolerant crops, ORCF-101 was developed using traditional plant breeding
methods and not by genetic engineering. According to OSU wheat breeder
Jim Peterson, the BASF gene adds one novel trait to the heritage
of Pacific Northwest germplasm developed over decades by the OSU
Wheat Breeding Program.
And because ORCF-101 is not genetically modified, it has no marketing
restrictions. "In many ways, breeding and selection have been the
easy part," said Peterson. The greater challenge, he says, has been
to provide growers with wide access to the new technology while
satisfying stewardship requirements of the CLEARFIELD production
system and managing intellectual property rights of both OSU and
BASF. This is new ground for the OSU Wheat Breeding Program.
Over the last two years and with the help of a grower-industry
advisory committee, OSU has developed a non-exclusive licensing
strategy for the release and commercialization of ORCF-101. "We
have worked very hard to ensure our efforts and commercialization
plans are in the best interest of our growers and the wheat industry,"
said Peterson. "Short term, our goal has been to provide growers
with a new variety and management option for problem weed situations.
Long-term, we want to ensure we can access new genes and technologies,
effectively collaborate with industry, and continue delivering superior
wheat varieties to our growers." Peterson points to commercialization
of the CLEARFIELD technology as an important step for OSU in developing
successful public-private collaboration in breeding and genetics
research. ORCF-101 seed producers will need to meet specific eligibility
and performance requirements and become licensed before they can
produce and sell seed stocks.
A $2,000 license fee and a two-cent per pound royalty accessed
on all certified seed sales will help recover OSU's costs of technology
access, licensing, protection and stewardship. Proper stewardship
of both the variety and herbicide will be critical to ensure viability
of the CLEARFIELD technology. Growers must attend BASF-sponsored
training and sign a stewardship agreement prior to seed purchase.
They must purchase certified seed for planting and are not allowed
to generate their own seed stocks for replanting. ORCF-101 was bred
from major Pacific Northwest varieties including Stephens, Madsen,
and Malcolm and will "fit right in with current varieties, in terms
of yield, performance, disease resistance and end-use quality for
the marketplace," said Peterson. "Beyond" is a broad-spectrum herbicide
effective against jointed goatgrass, downy brome, wild oat, feral
rye, Italian ryegrass, and other grasses. It has a similar mode
of action to many other herbicides now used in the Pacific Northwest.
The use of certified seed and herbicide rotation will be part of
proper stewardship, according to Peterson. Foundation seed of ORCF-101
will be available in August 2003. The first certified seed stocks
for commercial plantings are expected to be available in fall, 2004.
OSU has planned several events to discuss research, stewardship
and release strategy of the new CLEARFIELD wheat variety. The topic
will be highlighted during Field Days, on June 10 at 4 p.m. at the
Columbia Basin Agricultural Experiment Station near Pendleton, and
June 11 at 1 p.m. at the Sherman County Experiment Station at Moro.
An informational meeting and training session for interested seed
producers will be held on June 23 at 1 p.m. at the Pendleton Convention
Center. A website provides information on seed licenses, variety
performance, technology stewardship and management recommendations.
The web address is: http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/wheat/orcf-101/.
By Peg Herring, 541-737-9180 SOURCE: Jim Peterson, 541-737-3728
Note to Editors: CLEARFIELD is a registered trademark and Beyond
is a trademark of BASF Corporation.