Crop Genetics International Corp. reported Friday that itsgenetically modified InCide biopesticide reduced the damageinflicted by corn borers to two different corn varieties by 80percent and 60 percent in field trials this year.

Joseph Kelly, chief executive officer of Crop Genetics(NASDAQ:CROP) of Hanover, Md., said that chemical insecticidesgenerally control about 50 percent of the corn borers.

InCide is a plant vaccine composed of an endophytic microbethat Crop Genetics scientists have engineered to produce anatural insecticide. Corn seeds are inoculated with theformulation, which protects the resulting plants throughouttheir growing season.

Crop Genetics tested several new genetic constructs of thebiopesticide in this year's field trials, along with thoseconstructs already tested in 1990 and 1991. James Davis, thecompany's vice president, said Crop Genetics will select the bestgenetic construct for larger-scale testing in 1993.

The company also intends to conduct multisite yield trials in1993. "We intend to propose to the EPA and the USDA anumber of test sites, sufficient in size and geographic diversity,to establish how many more bushels per acre a farmer may getby using our product," Davis said. If the 1993 test resultsconfirm the environmental safety and establish thetechnology's economic advantage, Crop Genetics "should be in aposition to file for EPA registration," Davis said.

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

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