Agrisure Duracade Controls Corn Rootworm Differently
To Hope Hart, lead research scientist in the insect control group at Syngenta this indicated a market perfectly poised for an innovation in corn trait technology. Hart’s unique understanding of CRW and a fail-fast mentality led her to discover a technology that controls this threat and helps protect the corn market—the Agrisure Duracade® trait.
The Roots of Discovery
Using a previously discovered CRW protein and another protein used to fight European corn borer (ECB), the goal was to create a hybrid protein with activity against both pests. Hart and her team, which consisted of just two others—group research lead Eric Chen, Ph.D., and entomologist Fred Walters, Ph.D.—were hoping to give growers a much-needed defense against both highly destructive insects in a single product.
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Agrisure Duracade was discovered in 2000 when Hart went back to the 30 prototypes and discovered that one of them, although failing to eliminate ECB, provided a new mode of action against CRW. Hart recognized that while it wasn’t what she set out to do, this protein—eCry3.1Ab—was a revolutionary discovery. Its unique mode of action against CRW meant millions of dollars in saved crops and additional research. It also would enable Syngenta to provide growers with dual modes of action to control CRW more effectively.
A Powerful Technology
After years of greenhouse tests and successful small-scale field tests confirming the activity of Agrisure Duracade, Hart received an unexpected and dramatic understanding of just how powerful the technology was.
In 2013, a Clinton, Illinois, field that was infested with more than 500,000 CRW eggs and tested with an array of technologies was hit with a 50 mph windstorm. The next day, whole sections of the cornfield were flat on the ground due to weak root systems. Beside those plots, the Agrisure Duracade hybrids were still standing, enduring not only tremendous winds, but also CRW pressure because their roots were protected from CRW feeding damage.
A Culture of Innovation
This type of story—an unexpected path to success driven by a culture of innovation—is typical when it comes to developing new corn trait technologies at Syngenta. The immense amount of time, persistence, effort and resources that go into creating a new product is far beyond an average consumer’s consideration.
For Syngenta, the process to bring Agrisure Duracade from idea to market took more than 13 years of hard work and setbacks, 200 dedicated experts, and more than $150 million in research, development and regulatory costs. Technologies like Agrisure Duracade are the product of intentional and extensive research and analysis, so only the best technologies make it into the elite Agrisure® traits portfolio.
Because of the rigorous dedication of scientists like Hart and the Syngenta commitment to innovative research and development, growers can rely on cutting-edge seed trait technologies like Agrisure Duracade to control corn pests for years to come.
Agrisure Viptera Has Revolutionized Above-Ground Insect Control in Corn
The creativity and perseverance of Syngenta scientists led to the discovery of the Vip3A protein in Agrisure Viptera.