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Crop Biotech Update

Bayer Launches Disease Resistant Rice

May 16, 2008

Bayer CropScience has announced the launch of Arize Dhani, a bacterial leaf blight (BLB) disease-resistant hybrid rice variety in India. Bayer claims that, in addition to providing broad protection against BLB, the new rice hybrid can increase yield by 20 to 30 percent compared to ordinary varieties. The company now markets seven rice varieties in India.

Bacterial blight, caused by Xanthomonas oryzae, is one of the most common diseases affecting rice worldwide. Xanthomonas strains in tropical areas are more virulent than that of in temperate regions. In India, BLB affects 6-7 million hectares annually causing an estimated yield reduction of up to 60 percent. The country is the second largest rice producer after China, growing more than 128 million tons of the staple.

The press release is available at http://www.bayercropscience.com/bayer/cropscience/cscms.nsf/id/20080514_EN?open&ccm=400