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German chemical and biotech giant BASF and Crop protection and biotech seed producer Corteva Agriscience have entered a long-term global collaboration to develop new soyabean weed control solutions, the companies announced.

As part of the partnership, the companies will cross-license soyabean traits and develop complementary herbicide technologies to develop bespoke weed control options, according to the 30 August joint statement.

Corteva said it would combine a proprietary PPO (protoporphyrinogen oxidase) gene licensed from BASF with its portfolio of herbicide tolerant traits, including Corteva’s proprietary 2,4-D choline gene, to develop a new trait stack for soyabeans.

The stack will include tolerance to four herbicide modes of action – or distinct mechanisms – to control problematic weeds, the company said. The herbicide tolerance stack will be available in all Corteva seed brands.

Corteva said it had licensed the trait stack to BASF for use in BASF seed brands and expected to license it to other seed companies.

“The trait collaboration with Corteva harnesses each of our strengths and allows both companies to maximise value creation in our respective seed brands and… herbicide pipeline,” Dr Peter Eckes, R&D and regulatory president at BASF Agricultural Solutions, said.

The new soyabean trait stack will include tolerance to both BASF and Corteva herbicides: BASF’s Liberty (glufosinate-ammonium), Corteva’s Enlist herbicides (2,4-D choline with Colex-D technology) and BASF’s PPO inhibiting herbicides, Kixor and Tirexor, as well as a new PPO inhibiting herbicide under development by BASF.

The stack would also include tolerance to glyphosate, the companies said.

Pending regulatory reviews and completion of field testing, the first soyabean varieties with the new trait stack are expected to be launched in North America in the early 2030s, with other international markets to follow, according to the joint statement.