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More stacked trait cottons on the way to improve control, preserve technology

Cotton producers will have a new multiple-weed- and-insect-control trait technology available as the 2014 planting season struggles to get under way in some parts of the Cotton Belt.

Bayer CropScience announced its new Glytol-LibertyLink TwinLink cotton technology at the 2014 Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans. It was a red-letter day for the company, which has been working on the technology for 10 years.

TwinLink, which will be available in two FiberMax and two Stoneville varieties, combines season-long Bt-protection against worm pests with weed management tools that confer tolerance to full label rates of Liberty herbicide.

“Glytol-LibertyLink TwinLink is the first in a long line of proprietary traits from Bayer CropScience,” said Paul Callaghan, global cotton traits manager for Bayer CropScience. “It consists of a double trait for full tolerance to glyphosate and Liberty, as well, and it’s a two-gene Bt system, consisting of a Cry 1ab and a Cry 2ae, which is important for broad spectrum lepidopterous pest control.”

The two Bt gene system is also aimed at improving the durability and sustainability of the product to try to minimize the potential for insect resistance, Callaghan noted.

The new varieties are FM 1830GLT and FM 2334GLT, which are primarily adapted for the Texas High Plains, and ST 5032GLT and ST 5289GLT, which are primarily being offered east of the Mississippi River. GLT refers to GlyTol, Bayer CropScience’s glyphosate-resistant trait, LibertyLink and TwinLink.

TwinLink will offer a number of benefits, according to Callaghan:

  • Highest available, broad-spectrum Leptidopteran control
  • Control of tobacco budworm, pink bollworm and loopers
  • Reduced bollworm damage through superior bollworm protection
  • Significant reduction in damage caused by armyworms
  • Greater efficiency and flexibility for weed and insect control allowing growers to make the right decisions for their farms
  • GLT provides a wide application window for over-the-top applications of Liberty herbicide or glyphosate products.
  • Herbicide-tolerant traits with proven crop protection with no impact on yield or quality.

“There have been products launched before that were one-gene products,” said Callaghan. “The original Bollgard was a one-gene product. Now we’re always trying to stack traits to minimize the potential for resistance.

“What Bayer has done is we’ve stacked a Cry 1ab and a Cry 2ae so there are two different Cry proteins, they’re not both Cry1 proteins. It’s important to keep that mix and distribution of two different proteins there to make sure we don’t develop resistance and also increase that spectrum of control.

Callaghan said Bayer is also working on a three-way stack of two Cry proteins and the VIP 3a (Vegetative Ingestive Protein) to increase the spectrum of control even further and add more durability. The new three-way stack, which is pending regulatory approval, will be called TwinLink Plus. It is tentatively scheduled for launch in 2016.

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