FuturaGene receives approval for first-ever stacked genetically modified eucalyptus from the Brazilian National Biosafety Technical Commission
A new variety of genetically modified eucalyptus expressing traits for both yield enhancement and herbicide tolerance (stacked traits) was approved by the Brazilian National Biosafety Technical Commission (CTNBio). This is the first stacked trait eucalyptus ever approved worldwide.
This new variety has been developed by FuturaGene, a subsidiary of Suzano, a leader in yield and sustainability enhancement of eucalyptus plantations in the global renewable forestry sector.
The new variety was evaluated and approved by CTNBio confirming that this variety is safe for humans, animals, and the environment.
The yield enhanced and herbicide tolerant eucalyptus enables sustainable intensification of plantation productivity by both enhancing yield and promoting a more efficient use of herbicide for weed control, reducing operational cost, and enhancing worker safety.
To obtain this new variety of eucalyptus, two approved genetically modified eucalyptus varieties bearing the individual traits were crossed, through conventional breeding methods.
The herbicide tolerant trait has a history of more than 25 years safe use in multiple agricultural crops over widespread geographies. The yield enhanced trait has been tested extensively in multiple regions in Brazil since 2007 and was approved for commercial use in Brazil in 2015.
Following this approval, the new yield enhanced and herbicide tolerant eucalyptus variety will be integrated into Suzano’s conventional breeding programs and will undergo extensive field testing over different geographies in Brazil in compliance with the highest safety and ethical governance guidelines, as set out in Suzano’s genetically modified tree policy, and based on Suzano’s forest management practices.
Dr. Stanley Hirsch, CEO of FuturaGene said:
“We are proud to have developed this first stacked eucalyptus variety incorporating multiple traits. This variety incorporates both the potential for enhanced yield and improved yield protection. The development of multi-trait, stacked eucalyptus varieties is part of our effort to sustainably intensify productivity in renewable forests, to meet growing demand for wood with lower impact on natural forests. We continue to develop additional multi-trait varieties in an overall quest to improve and maintain forest productivity and climate resilience.”
Suzano is committed to sharing the benefits and value of this new technology with partners via its outgrowers’ program, including small landowners. After larger-scale testing, partners will have royalty-free access to the technology under terms of current contracts, as they do with conventional clones.
This is FuturaGene’s eighth variety of genetically modified eucalyptus to receive approval from CTNBio, following its world-first approval for genetically modified eucalyptus with its yield enhanced variety in 2015.
FuturaGene has also received five approvals from CTNBio for herbicide tolerant eucalyptus since 2021 and an approval for insect resistant eucalyptus in March 2023. These remain the only genetically modified eucalyptus approved anywhere in the world.
NOTES TO EDITOR:
For more information on Suzano’s Genetically Modified Tree Policy please see here.
FuturaGene is a leader in plant genetic research and development for increasing productivity and resilience in the global renewable forestry sector. With facilities in Brazil and Israel, the company develops sustainable, ecologically sound technology to meet the ever-increasing demands for fiber and alternatives to fossil fuel-based products such as plastics and energy crops in the face of declining land and water resources and climate change.
In April 2015, FuturaGene became the first company in the world to obtain regulatory approval to commercially deploy a yield-enhanced genetically modified eucalyptus variety.
Since July 2010, FuturaGene has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Suzano S.A. For more information, visit www.futuragene.com.