New products through plant breeding
The richness and diversity of Syngenta's germplasm resources, combined with molecular breeding, has accelerated the rate of innovation in Seeds.
In Field Crops, R&D focuses on growers' primary aim: higher quality yield. Raising the essential nutritional components, starch, oil or protein further improves value for food and feed, and increasingly biofuel applications. Marker-assisted breeding is helping to increase disease resistance, as well as enhance cooking, baking and brewing quality for processors and consumers. It is also used to improve plants' agronomic properties such as size and germination.
In Vegetable Seeds, Syngenta develops new products to provide consumers with consistent high quality, improved appearance, taste and texture. Powerful analytical science has been expanding knowledge of taste, flavor and nutrition. Combined with advanced breeding technology, this is accelerating the introduction of novel varieties.
In Flowers, Syngenta breeding programs offer gardeners and consumers an exciting flow of richer, more vibrant colors, better flowering and longer visual attraction, as well as providing growers and retailers with ever improving convenience.
For customers, this means a greater choice of improved crop varieties and hybrids, with often hundreds of new Seeds products launched each year.
Certina input traits, aimed at controling crop pests, continue to gain importance, especially in corn and soybean in the USA and Latin America. Syngenta is on track to deliver a full suite of stacked traits in corn, including herbicide tolerance and resistance to both leaf and soil insects, thereby leveraging the quality and breadth of its germplasm resulting from the combination of GARST®, GOLDEN HARVEST® and NK®. We anticipate that these stacks will be introduced over the next three years.
Development of the novel insect control trait for cotton, VIPCOTTM, through a partnership with the premier cotton seed company in the USA, has continued to progress towards launch. This trait has reached the final stage of selection of the technology options for later commercialization.
While input traits such as insect resistance provide important benefits for the grower, output traits add value for processors and ultimately consumers.
A major use of corn is for animal feed, and more recently for ethanol production. Traits that bring benefits in these applications are expected to provide new value creation in the future. Syngenta has products in development in both areas. Incorporation of the enzyme phytase into the grain itself provides additional benefits to adding enzyme at the pelleting stage of animal feed production. Similarly, corn expressing the enzyme amylase is being developed for more efficient ethanol production, as it speeds up starch conversion into sugar.
Initial pilot trials were successfully conducted in 2005 and registration dossiers submitted to the US and other regulatory authorities.