Renessen LLC announced that the USDA has deregulated Renessen's high lysine corn containing the LY038 trait, clearing the way for Renessen to commercialize the new technology for use in the livestock industry. To be sold under the name Mavera(TM) High Value Corn with Lysine, LY038 is the world's first crop-based quality trait produced through biotechnology for the animal feed industry. It also represents the first biotechnology trait offering from Renessen.
The technology provides higher levels of lysine than a conventional corn plant produces. Lysine, an amino acid, is a critical building block for proteins and muscle and thus essential for the diets of animals. When included as part of an animal's diet, grain produced that contains the trait will enhance lysine levels in animal feed, reducing the need for synthetic lysine supplements. It is expected to reduce cost and improve efficiency for animal producers.
"We are very excited by this technology's ability to simplify our livestock customers' animal feed rations and improve operational efficiency through cost savings," said Michael Stern, Ph.D., chief executive officer for Renessen.
The high-lysine trait will be marketed under Renessen's Mavera(TM) program. The specially developed corn will contain higher levels of corn oil than commodity hybrids, in addition to possessing the lysine trait, and it will initially be sold through the Asgrow(R) brand of seed. "Mavera(TM) High Value Corn with Lysine offers the increased oil and metabolizable energy content of Mavera(TM) High Value Corn, with the added benefits of providing an enhanced level of the essential amino acid lysine," added Stern. "This will create additional planting options for corn growers, allowing them to earn a premium while participating in a value-added supply chain."
Mavera(TM) High Value Corn with Lysine will be evaluated under an experimental field program in 2006 and produced on limited acreage in 2007. The new product will initially be grown in states with access to major river ways such as Illinois and Indiana so that export markets can be reached economically.
Renessen is currently seeking the necessary regulatory clearances for LY038 in all key import markets, and until those approvals are obtained, grain containing LY038 will only be marketed to specific end users in the United States. Regardless of its destination, LY038 grain will always be produced under an identity preservation system, which will control the flow of the grain from the farm to the end-user. Mavera(TM) High Value Corn with Lysine will initially be combined with the YieldGard(R) Corn Borer trait in the U.S. market, to be followed later with other Monsanto agronomic traits, such as the YieldGard(R) Corn Rootworm and Roundup Ready(R) Corn II traits.
Renessen is a joint venture between Cargill Incorporated and Monsanto Company, bringing together Monsanto's expertise in biotechnology and plant breeding with Cargill's capabilities in animal nutrition, grain processing and logistics. Since its establishment in 1999, Renessen has been focused on developing valued-added traits to the feed industry.