New modes of action for controlling cotton insects are good news for growers and stacks of traits are even better when it comes to insect resistance management. Syngenta in North America is bringing both to the cotton field as it has received full U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) deregulation of the components that make up the VipCot trait stack. The deregulation decision allows VipCot cotton to be sold for seed during the 2012 growing season.
The VipCot cotton trait stack combines Event COT67B (which produces the Cry1Ab protein) and COT102 (Vip3A protein). Vip3A is the same protein found in Syngenta’s Agrisure Viptera trait corn. A vegetative protein, it works in the gut of the insect a bit differently than traditional Cry proteins.
Syngenta is licensing the individual traits and the VipCot trait stack to seed providers. Syngenta announced in 2010 that Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, and Monsanto Company each had agreements in place that would allow them to use Vip3A technology with their cotton products.
“Providing multiple modes of insect resistance to growers will help prevent the development of resistant insects, as well as offer growers an opportunity to protect all of their cotton acres from most caterpillar pests,” says David Morgan, Syngenta North America Region Director. “Our licensing agreements reaffirm the innovation of Vip3A, the market’s first non-Cry insect control protein, as a breakthrough tool providing broad spectrum control of lepidopteran pests while creating new options for insect resistance management.”
While Syngenta does not operate a cotton seed business, the company says it is committed to assisting cotton producers by providing yield-preserving technologies including traits, seed care products and crop protection products. Syngenta’s Vip3A technology brings much needed support to Southern cotton growers, who face persistent pressure from pests such as the cotton bollworm, tobacco budworm and the entire armyworm complex.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted seed registrations for the single cotton events and commercial registration for the combined trait stack and approved a natural refuge option for VipCot cotton technology in 2010. USDA deregulation is the final step required before commercialization.
The natural refuge option for VipCot affects cotton growers in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Texas (excluding the Texas counties of Brewster, Crane, Crockett, Culberson, El Paso, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Loving, Pecos, Presidio, Reeves, Terrell, Val Verde, Ward, and Winkler).
The natural refuge option does not apply to areas where pink bollworm is a key pest including Arizona, California, New Mexico, and the areas of Texas listed above.
These cotton traits have received import approval from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Mexico. Crops or other material produced from COT67B, COT102 or VipCot technology can only be exported to, used, processed and/or sold in countries where all necessary regulatory approvals have been granted.