Libertyville, Illinois, USA
August 20, 2009
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently granted Valent BioSciences Corporation a three-year experimental use permit (EUP) for the use of abscisic acid (S-ABA) as a seed treatment.
The EUP allows Valent BioSciences Corporation and its collaborators to evaluate the naturally occurring plant growth regulator S-ABA for two new uses: flowering delay for hybrid seed production and induction of cold tolerance to enable early planting. The EUP is authorized for California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Puerto Rico, Texas and Washington.
Valent BioSciences Corporation conducted successful trials with a hybrid seed corn company in 2008 in North America and also during the winter in the Southern Hemisphere. Valent BioSciences Corporation is collaborating with several hybrid seed corn companies this year to conduct a mix of EUP evaluation trials and non-EUP research experiments in numerous locations across the hybrid seed-producing areas in the Midwestern United States.
S-ABA Regulates Natural Processes
The Physiological Seed Enhancement (PSE) group, part of Valent BioSciences’ Plant Sciences research department in Long Grove, Illinois, has found that application of S-ABA can be used to regulate the natural process of dormancy that occurs in seeds and buds. Such treatments, applied to parent seed before planting, have potential commercial value for the synchronization of male parent flowering with female parent receptivity in hybrid-seed production fields.
Valent BioSciences’s PSE group also has identified new approaches for the potential use of S-ABA to induce cold tolerance in germinating seeds for early planting. In this use, S-ABA causes chilling-sensitive species such as corn to be more chilling-resistant by mitigating necrosis under cold stress. Valent BioSciences Corporation is conducting research experiments, focused on demonstrating the proof of concept in both laboratory and small-plot field studies.
“The commercial seed industry is very interested in both the flowering delay and cold tolerance treatments under development at Valent BioSciences Corporation, said Michael Donaldson, president and chief executive officer with the company. “Our S-ABA product is much easier to use than traditional cultural practices, which are time sensitive and equipment intensive. The S-ABA product is also easier to apply and use than competing products, which depend on application of polymer coatings to achieve flowering delay and cold tolerance. With favorable field trial results, appropriate regulatory approvals, and go-to-market plans in place, we expect to pursue commercial launch of both flowering delay and cold tolerance S-ABA products.” Donaldson further added that “it’s important to note that S-ABA is also an important component of Valent BioSciences’ Crop Stress Management Program. In this case, we are investigating water stress management using S-ABA on multiple crops as an alternative to genetic methods of drought tolerance.”
Valent BioSciences Corporation, headquartered in Libertyville, Illinois, is a worldwide leader in the research, development and commercialization of low risk, environmentally compatible technologies and products for the agricultural, public health, forestry and household insecticide markets. For more information on the products offered by Valent BioSciences Corporation, please visit www.valentbiosciences.com