Event highlights new generation of microbes with power to impact agriculture and protect the planet
DAVIS, Ca., September 1, 2022 — BioConsortia’s innovative microbial products and technical capabilities were on full display August 30th at its Davis, CA headquarters in an investor-focused Technology Showcase event. BioConsortia demonstrated rapid advancements in microbial product and pipeline developments for reducing nitrogen fertilizers, controlling soil pests and plant diseases for larger and better-quality crop yields, as well as protecting crops post-harvest to avoid food waste, while minimizing environmental impact and protecting our planet.
The Showcase event reintroduced CRIMSON™ fungicide and biostimulant ZAFFRE™, two products currently awaiting final registrations, and highlighted BioConsortia’s new fungicides, nematicides and nitrogen fixing products that are progressing through registration and commercialization and moving into evaluation with potential partners, as follows:
- N-POWER™ seed treatment: N-POWER will be the first nitrogen-fixation seed treatment product based on robust, spore-forming technology, enabling easy adoption through an application methodology/process already well-integrated in farming. Experts estimate only 50% of applied nitrogen fertilizer is used by crops. Nitrogen from fertilizers that is not taken up by plants can be lost from the soil into waterways either above ground (lakes, streams, rivers, or oceans) or into ground water, and can lead to harmful algae blooms and the eutrophication of waterways. Well advanced on corn, wheat and other row crops, N-POWER field evaluations will expand to fruit & vegetables, turf & ornamental, and home & garden this season. This technology will help growers increase yields while protecting the health of the planet.
- GARNET™ biofungicide in an optimized post-harvest formulation: GARNET, already proven as a foliar and soil fungicide, will protect both conventional and organic fruits and vegetables from a wide variety of post-harvest diseases that today limit shelf-life. The UN-FAO estimates 60 percent of fruits and vegetables produced become waste rather than food. Development of the concentrated formulation, which delivers 50 times more active metabolite levels, continues.
- NO-NEM™ bionematicide advances: BioConsortia highlighted progress in bringing novel, safe and effective nematocidal microbes to market. Experts estimate global crop losses of $125 billion or 14% of crop value each year. Currently available chemical controls like methyl bromide, organophosphates and carbamates have an unacceptable level of toxicity to non-target organisms and are being withdrawn from use. NO-NEM is BioConsortia’s first nematicide product heading into full development phase. It has shown excellent performance against economically important pests in row crops, as well as fruits and vegetables, such as soybean cyst nematodes and root knot nematodes.
“Today we highlight the breadth of innovations developed to replace chemical crop inputs with superior microbe-based solutions for nitrogen fixing, disease control, nematode control, crop yields and post-harvest food safety,” said Marcus Meadows-Smith, CEO of BioConsortia. “The recent progress of our pipeline – including some exciting technology breakthroughs – means we are ready to advance multiple major products into the commercialization phase with marketing partners.”
R&D Pipeline Expanded through Technical Innovation
Additions to BioConsortia’s R&D pipeline aim to leapfrog currently available microbial products, providing improved efficacy, increased shelf-stability, and reduced field use rates, as follows:
- Leveraging GenePro™ microbe editing platform for nitrogen-fixing breakthroughs: BioConsortia’s proprietary genomics and gene-editing platform, GenePro™, facilitates the discovery and engineering of a wide diversity of microbes faster and more efficiently. BioConsortia’s scientists affirmed GenePro has resulted in the discovery of novel genetic components driving nitrogen-fixation. BioConsortia’s proprietary bacterial strains fix nitrogen under conditions other N-fixing strains will not. This discovery validates the company’s position as a leader in microbe-derived alternatives for agriculture, has resulted in proprietary intellectual property, and will continue to drive our research focus.
- Expanding library through AMS: BioConsortia’s patent-protected “AMS” – Advanced Microbial Selection™ platform uses evolutionary biology practices to find beneficial microbes that the plant has selected for specific gains. AMS underpins the breadth, depth, and success of BioConsortia’s product pipeline. The company announced the addition of more than 2000 rice diazotrophic microbial strains to its library, following a research program using AMS. This large addition to the library has greatly accelerated BioConsortia’s nitrogen-fixation project for rice, a crop with a paddy production model that represents a unique opportunity to impact the sustainability practices of both large and small growers of one of the world’s most fertilized crops.
- Novel Bactericide Project: BioConsortia also introduced a new project focused on optimizing microbes for the production of metabolites active against bacterial disease. Project leaders highlighted early technological success within this project – again reliant on the GenePro platform, which focuses on utilizing novel tools to address evolving bacterial disease resistance and increasing bacterial pest pressure resulting from climatic challenges and global trade flows.
- Novel Multi-spectrum Insecticide: Additionally, the company updated progress on a novel, developmental microbial active ingredient designed to deliver broad-spectrum control of both nematodes and critically important coleopteran and lepidopteran pests. The project aims to deliver a novel mode of action to support and extend crop trait lifecycles in the face of emerging insect resistance. Nematicide leads were originally characterized as strong root colonizers employing the company’s RhizoViz™ system, which uses proteins to visualize colonization robustness in different soils and environmental conditions. BioConsortia’s nematicide pipeline is now among the most expansive in agricultural research.
“BioConsortia’s pipeline progress highlights the strengths of the company’s R&D platform – unique in the industry in terms of discovery of plant-affiliated microbes and their optimization as solutions for agriculture,” said Dr. Hong Zhu, Senior VP of Research and Development at BioConsortia.
Accelerating Partnering Activities
The showcase included a session detailing the company’s plans to add velocity to partnering activities in all markets: nitrogen-fixing, biocontrol, biostimulant and post-harvest products.
BioConsortia previously announced its distribution agreement with The Mosaic Company for new Nitrogen-fixing products for wheat, corn and other row crops in the Americas, as well as selected Asian countries. BioConsortia announced these products will be introduced to new potential partners for remaining row crop territories and for fruit & vegetables, turf & ornamental, and home & garden this season. These include gene edited microbes for conventional crops, and natural (wild-type) microbes for the organic markets.
“BioConsortia is fundamentally a discovery and optimization company, designing microbial products to solve the challenges we must meet in order to feed a hungry world,” said CEO, Meadows-Smith. “Today we see the results of many years of intensive efforts building our capabilities and advancing our pipeline. Many projects are maturing rapidly and products will soon enter the market. We look forward to working with commercial partners to deliver these powerful innovations to the market”.
BioConsortia, Inc. develops superior microbial products that protect plants, enhance fertility, and increase yields while improving the sustainability of agriculture for our environment. Pioneering the use of directed selection within microbial communities, our patented Advanced Microbial Selection (AMS) process and cutting-edge GenePro genomics and gene-engineering platform enable us to predict, design, and unleash the natural power of microbes.
BioConsortia’s microbial products deliver superior efficacy, higher consistency, and easier grower adoption. Our rich pipeline includes nitrogen fixation microbes to replace synthetic nitrogen fertilizers; nutrient use efficiency and biostimulants to increase crop yields; bionematicides & biofungicides to protect crops from pests and diseases; and products for post-harvest pathogen control to safeguard food waste in the distribution chain, retail store and home. BioConsortia is producing breakthrough solutions for growers in major agricultural markets with multiple environmental benefits.
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