MON88017 maize was developed by Monsanto and is glyphosate herbicide tolerant and resistant to corn root worm (Coleoptera, Diabrotica sp.).
Currently MON88017 is approved for cultivation in the USA, Canada and Japan. In 2009 commercial cultivation took place in Canada and the USA. Approval for food and feed uses have been granted in several countries, including the EU.
MON 88017 maize was developed through Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of corn embryo derived tissue.
The genetic modification is a dual trait introduced by the transfer of the following two genes derived from bacterial sources:
- a synthetic cry3Bb1 gene which is the coding sequence for a close variant of the Cry3Bb1 protein, derived from Bacillus thuringiensis. The production of Cry3Bb1 proteins protects the maize plant from the Coleopteran insects western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera), northern corn rootworm (D. barberi), and Mexican corn rootworm (D. virgifera zeae).
- the cp4 epsps gene which is the coding sequence for the native CP4 EPSPS protein, derived from Agrobacterium sp. strain CP4. The expression of the cp4 epsps gene confers tolerance to the herbicide glyphosate (Roundup).
After soy shipments from the US were found to be contaminated with MON88107 and MIR604 maize in Spain and Germany in August 2009, the shipments were rejected and EU buyers voluntarily stopped the import of US soy.