Monsanto and Sumitomo Chemical to develop new PPO technologies

Monsanto Company has signed a global agreement with Sumitomo Chemical Company to focus on developing next-generation weed control solutions.

Monsanto has multi-generational herbicide trait upgrades in its research and development pipeline to offer multiple and additional modes of action for controlling weed.

This comprises PPO-herbicide tolerance traits, which are in the initial phases of research and development and expected to be included in Monsanto's multi-herbicide tolerant trait stacks.

In addition, Sumitomo Chemical has been developing a new generation of PPO chemistry with broader spectrum control and application flexibility to enhance present and future weed control systems.

"The product's low use rate will be valuable to corn, soy and cotton growers."

Monsanto executive vice-president and chief technology officer Robb Fraley said: "I'm really excited about Sumitomo Chemical's next-generation weed control technology.

"This next-generation PPO herbicide has remarkable broad spectrum effect against both grass and broadleaf weeds, which will make it an excellent, complementary addition to the Roundup Ready platform.

"The product's low use rate, together with a unique mode of action effective against resistant PPO weeds, will be valuable to corn, soy and cotton growers."

Under the agreement, Monsanto and Sumitomo Chemical will work together to develop an integrated system of germplasm, biotechnology and crop protection that will represent new generation of weed control solutions.

As part of this, Monsanto and Sumitomo Chemical will collaborate in development, registration and commercialisation of Sumitomo Chemical's key PPO chemistries.

These chemistries include new generation PPO herbicide for over-the-top and conventional herbicide application use in Monsanto's future generation weed management systems, as well as standard applications for other crop uses.

The new-generation PPO herbicide will be available within brands offered by both companies.

Furthermore, the agreement will leverage both companies' capabilities, including Monsanto's strength in integrated field testing and development.

The next-generation herbicide will be commercially available early in the next decade after regulatory approvals.

Additional details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Sumitomo Chemical representative director and senior managing executive officer Ray Nishimoto said: "This collaboration combines the strength of Monsanto to discover and develop herbicide tolerance traits with Sumitomo Chemical's world-class discovery program for new crop protection products that are highly effective for sustainable weed management."