Biotech Updates

Biotech Corn Variety Shows Resistance to Ear Rot

July 4, 2018

A biotech corn variety has provided a solution to a fungal disease causing losses to farmers in Bukidnon, Philippines.

Corn farmers in the uplands of Bukidnon tried planting Agrisure NK306BtGT (Event Bt11xGA21) which showed resistance to the Diplodia Ear Rot or DER, a destructive fungal disease that causes grayish or grayish brown mold in the ears or kernels, eventually resulting in the rotting of the ears. This stacked trait variety with herbicide tolerance and insect resistance traits was developed by Syngenta.

According to Rosalia Ragmac, a corn grower from Bukidnon, their corn plants had been affected by the disease for more than ten years, giving them poor harvest. Thus, they could not pay for the borrowed money to finance their five-hectare farm. Today, NK306 gives them an opportunity to improve their harvest.

Syngenta's Corn Product Selection Lead, Duanne Makabudbud, mentioned that NK306 performs favorably in upland and high elevation areas, especially where DER is prevalent. The corn variety is also resistant to stalk rot and foliar diseases and performs well even in poor soil and adverse weather conditions. It can be planted at a density of 71,000 to 80,000 plants per hectare with a potential yield of 10-12 tons per hectare.

For more details, read the original article from Zac Sarian and the Philippine Department of Agriculture memorandum on updated list of GM corn events approved for propagation.