The State

Advanced Genetic Sciences announced that it has successfully completed its second field test of Frostban, genetically altered bacteria designed to prevent frost damage to crops. The second test began in the Northern California community of Brentwood on Dec. 14 and included four applications of the two strains of the Frostban bacteria on 17,500 strawberry plants covering nearly an acre. Preliminary results on the second test, Joseph Bouckaert, president of AGS, said, showed Frostban "effectively protected strawberry plants from the natural bacteria that cause frost to form." Ecological groups have opposed the experiments saying the bacteria could escape into the environment and possibly cause damage. Bouckaert said AGS has concluded "at least one of the strains tested" will be further developed for product registration. "We hope to have the product available for growers in the near future."

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