2m (2mepsps): Coming Soon to the North American Soybean Harvest

Soybeans containing new genetically modified traits will be harvested in North America this year. The soybean trade names for the new traits are GT27 and Enlist E3. GT27 is a stacked trait that enables herbicide tolerance to glyphosate and isoxaflutole. The isoxaflutole herbicide (branded as ALITE 27 – previously known as Balance Bean) does not have EPA registration for use on soybeans yet. GT27 soybean seed is also available as a stack with Liberty Link. Enlist E3 is a stacked trait that enables triple herbicide tolerance to glyphosate, glufosinate, and 2,4-D.

Since the market share of these new traits is not readily available it is hard to estimate the risk of these traits co-mingling with commercial seed lots destined for planting or entering non-GMO bulk grain supply chains. Currently, EnviroLogix has a qualitative lateral flow strip for the detection of 2mepsps that has been validated to detect GT27. The strip was originally designed for detection of 2mepsps in cottonseed but has since been validated to detect 2mepsps in soybean as well.

The strip has a limit of detection of 1 soybean in a pool of 200 soybeans (0.5%). Seed breeders and seed producers should use seedcalc8 to devise a qualitative impurity testing plan to perform adventitious presence testing of soybean seed lots. Non-GMO grain handlers should take a representative sample of the bulk soybeans, grind, and weigh out a sample based on average seed weight.

EnviroLogix is working on adding a quantitative strip to the non-GMO soy comb to detect GT27. This product will likely be available in Q4 of 2019.

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