Biotechnology company DuPont is set to commercialize a new line of soybean varieties using a technology that claims to achieve "unprecedented yield potential".
According to the firm, varieties carrying the new trait, known as Accelerated Yield Technology (AYT), are due to be planted as early as next year, pending product advancement trial results.
The technology is said to increase yields by up to 12 percent. It uses molecular breeding techniques to scan and identify genes that increase yield and then incorporate them into soybean genetics, according to DuPont's seed business Pioneer Hi-Bred.
The firm claims the new technology, which aims to help meet rising demands for food and fuel, has created "increases in Pioneer soybean variety yields that have never been seen in such a short period of time".
"Full implementation of AYT combined with molecular breeding technologies will enable Pioneer to make a new class of soybeans that has unprecedented yield potential relative to anything we have ever seen," said William Niebur, vice president DuPont Crop Genetics Research and Development.
"These technologies allow us to incorporate a complete package of offensive and defensive characteristics that could make 100-plus bushel soybean yields a common occurrence in the very near future."
DuPont said AYT is not transgenic so soybeans developed from this process are not subject to additional regulatory approvals.
According to the firm, until now, molecular breeding techniques used by the seed industry have only produced single-gene defensive traits in commercial varieties.
There are multiple genes in complex networks that determine the final yield level achieved. DuPont said AYT builds on its molecular breeding techniques by allowing researchers to simultaneously select multiple genes to significantly boost yields.
The first AYT varieties are higher yielding versions of the newest Pioneer elite soybean genetics.
Pioneer said it hopes to introduce an AYT version of Pioneer brand 94M80, pending final trial results this fall. The company also said that new genetics are being developed using AYT and other molecular breeding techniques.