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USDA approves corn amylase trait for Enogen; first approved genetically modified trait for ethanol industry

Syngenta has received full deregulation for its corn amylase trait from the US. Department of Agriculture (USDA). (Earlier post.) This is the first genetically modified output trait in corn for the ethanol industry.

By enabling expression of an optimized alpha-amylase enzyme directly in corn, dry grind ethanol production can be improved in a way that can be easily integrated into existing infrastructure. Syngenta will sell corn seed with the amylase trait as Enogen corn seed.

Enogen corn seed offers growers an opportunity to cultivate a premium specialty crop. It is a breakthrough product that provides US ethanol producers with a proven means to generate more gallons of ethanol from their existing facilities. Enogen corn also reduces the energy and water consumed in the production process while substantially reducing carbon emissions.

—Davor Pisk, Chief Operating Officer

Enogen corn seed will be available from the coming growing season. This year, Syngenta plans to work with a small number of ethanol plants and corn growers in close proximity and prepare for larger scale commercial introduction in 2012. Production of Enogen corn will be managed by Syngenta using a contracted, closed production system.

The corn amylase trait in Enogen has already been approved for import into Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia and Taiwan, and for cultivation in Canada.



What will be the long term effects on the land used to produce this improved corn? Will it require more water and fertilizer?

What percentage of liquid fuel can be produced from food producing land without having a major impact on food availability and price?

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