Excerpt taken from original SOURCE article: FARMERS REAP BENEFITS OF HERBICIDE-TOLERANT WHEAT DEVELOPED AT CSU, August 7, 2019, by Anne Manning
“Just under a decade ago, Colorado State University scientists identified a genetic trait in wheat that would make the plants tolerant to a particular herbicide. They found that spraying the herbicide would kill crop-destroying weeds while leaving wheat untouched. Today, that trait, coupled with the herbicide, make up a patented, non-genetically modified wheat production system that gives wheat farmers a powerful new tool for profitability. It’s all the result of a longstanding partnership between Colorado wheat growers and CSU agricultural scientists, who over several decades have had a hand in developing varieties grown on nearly 80 percent of Colorado wheat acreage. Last fall, the CoAXium® Wheat Production System became commercially available to farmers in Colorado, where more than 2 million acres of wheat grows across the eastern plains.
The weed scientists engaged with CSU’s Wheat Breeding and Genetics Program to characterize the mutation at the DNA level and provide validation that the mutation was indeed responsible for the herbicide tolerance. Using state-of-the-art breeding technologies, and accelerated seed increases in Yuma, Arizona, the breeding program rapidly developed a wheat variety both adapted to Colorado’s environment and able to tolerate the herbicide. The result is the CoAXium® Wheat Production System, which pairs the AXigen® tolerance trait with Aggressor herbicide, made by the company Albaugh. “We were excited to bring this new wheat technology to farmers as quickly as we could, so we used all of our available tools and resources to make that happen,” said Scott Haley, professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences and project leader of the Wheat Breeding and Genetics Program.
Bringing CoAXium to market is a shining example of CSU’s land-grant roots in service and extension, Gaines said. The university’s close partnership with Colorado Wheat Research Foundation makes targeted innovation, research and commercialization possible.”