Calyxt Launches U.S. Field Trials with University of Minnesota for Powdery Mildew-Resistant Spring Wheat Variety
Wheat Marks Calyxt’s Fourth Gene Edited Crop to Undergo Trials
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., May 16, 2017 – Calyxt, Inc., a Minnesota-based company developing healthier specialty food ingredients to benefit both consumers and farmers, today announced that the Company, under a service agreement with the University of Minnesota, has launched field trials in the U.S. for its gene edited powdery mildew-resistant spring wheat variety.
Under the agreement, the University of Minnesota has planted 1.7 kilograms of seeds at the University’s St. Paul and Crookston research stations. Developed using Calyxt’s proprietary TALEN® technology, the wheat is resistant to powdery mildew, a fungus that spreads widely throughout the world and is responsible for major grain and yield losses.
“As Calyxt is dedicated to bringing crops to market with healthier characteristics for consumers and growers, working with the University of Minnesota to plant the powdery mildew-resistant wheat brings us one step closer to making the goal a reality and allows us to see how the wheat will look under field conditions,” said Federico Tripodi, Calyxt CEO. “Through altering one native gene in the crop, we are able to increase the productivity and profitability of farmers. With over 680 million metric tons of wheat that’s produced annually globally, Calyxt is well-positioned to incorporate the mildew resistance trait into geographically suitable wheat varieties and commercialize this product in the near future.”
In 2016, Calyxt received notice from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service that the Company’s powdery mildew-resistant wheat variety is non-regulated, as no foreign DNA is contained in this powdery mildew-resistant spring wheat variety.