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Discovered nematicidal activity in industrial by-products of plant origin

Roots with gall, infected by meloidogyne nematodes

Roots with gall, infected by meloidogyne nematodes

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Futureco Bioscience has discovered nematicidal activity in industrial byproducts of plant origin, as confirmed by the results of the trials of the Enzytech project, collected in Ecoletter 24.

The general aim of the Enzytech project, was to design the bases to develop a biotechnological process that would allow obtaining substances with biostimulant and/or phytosanitary action, from the protein fraction of different local by-products of plant origin. This project was presented to ACC1Ó and co-financed within the framework of the ERDF Operational Program of Catalonia 2014-2020.

After a pre-selection of 29 plant sources and by-products of the agri-food industry, 4 were chosen, which also complied with the legislation for fertilizer legislation (Annex V of Royal Decree 506/2013). A residual culture broth from the microbial fermentation of an experimental prototype of microbial biopesticides developed by the R&D Department of Futureco Bioscience (SND B25) was also selected as a source of enzymes to be included in the process of enzymatic hydrolysis of some of the prototypes. On the other hand, a process to obtain prototypes in a single stage was designed.

Hydrolysed prototypes with bioactive properties of interest were obtained as low risk phytosanitary products with nematicidal action. Named M3, M7, M11 and COMBI, its efficacy tests on the Meloidogyne root-knot nematode, a genus that causes heavy economic losses in agriculture, are collected in the Ecoletter.

The next steps to convert one of these prototypes in a low risk commercial phytosanitary involve, on the one hand, scaling and optimizing its production process at an industrial level, concentrating the bioactive molecules to reach commercially acceptable doses and costs. On the other hand, initiate registration in accordance with Directive 2009/128/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21st October 2009, (Guideline for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides), and of Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2009, of the European Parliament and the Council of 21st October 2009, concerning the commercialization of plant protection products.

According to this Regulation, for a phytosanitary product or an active material to be authorized and therefore used in any member state, it must undergo an exhaustive evaluation process, which considers the main risks generated, both in humans and in the environment. It is estimated that the future commercialization of one of the aforementioned prototypes (in an optimized version) can be effective in no less than 5 years.

These results are encouraging, especially considering the lack of efficient natural products for the control of nematodes. The possibility of including some byproduct of Futureco Bioscience obtained during the process of fermentation of microorganisms as part of the formulation of these potential products, represents an improvement in the handling of these by-products, giving it a functional application and, due to the composition itself of the waste, reducing the consumption of water and raw materials during the manufacturing process, thus contributing to the circular economy.

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