INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — In the race to bring cotton growers more alternatives for biotechnology-enhanced cotton varieties, Dow AgroSciences LLC has successfully completed Pre-market Biotechnology Notice consultations with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the two insect protection proteins in WideStrike Insect Protection.

WideStrike is a new, stacked insect-protection trait being researched, developed and introduced for use in the cotton market by Dow AgroSciences. The stacked trait expresses the Cry1F and Cry1Ac proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) in cotton plants.

According to information released by Dow AgroSciences, extensive field trials conducted throughout the Southeast, Mid-South and Texas from 2001 to 2003 show season-long protection from a broad spectrum of lepidopteran pests such as cotton bollworms, tobacco budworms, pink bollworms, beet armyworms, fall armyworms, southern armyworms, cabbage loopers and soybean loopers.

WideStrike received deregulated status for cotton from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in July. Full registration of the trait by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is anticipated later this year.

Additional field testing of WideStrike is also being conducted this season under an EPA Experimental Use Permit.

Upon federal and state registration, WideStrike Insect Protection will initially be available in new cotton varieties from PhytoGen Seed Company. Current plans call for WideStrike to be available alone and also stacked with the Roundup Ready technology in PhytoGen varieties adapted for use throughout the Cotton Belt.

Field trials have shown the new varieties demonstrate high yield potential and excellent fiber packages, according to Dow AgroSciences reports.