USA: Biocontrol Solution Biotalys’ Maiden Biofungicide Offers Protection to Fruit and Vegetable Crops
Biotalys conducted a global fruit and vegetables field trial programme with its innovative biofungicide Biofun-1. The new protein-based biocontrol solution enables farmers to protect their yields and extend post-harvest protection with sustainable products.
Ghent/Belgium – Biotalys, a transformative food and crop protection company, has announced the results from more than 100 field trials with its first, breakthrough biofungicide, Biofun-1, which is on track to be launched in the United States in 2022, followed by global market introductions. Developing a new generation of protein-based biocontrol solutions, Biotalys aims to help farmers protect yields and reduce food waste by both preventing crop loss and extending post-harvest protection with sustainable and safe products.
In 2018, Biotalys demonstrated that Biofun-1 provided competitive and consistent protection against Botrytis cinerea when compared with commercial chemical fungicides and outperforming biologicals, in multiple crops and regions. In 2019, the company further expanded its testing programme confirming high efficacy and consistency when compared with reference commercial chemicals and integrated pest management (IPM) programmes across multiple pathogens, crops and regions.
The 2019 field trial programme took place across the United States and key European countries and included more than 50 efficacy trials against major pests such as Botrytis cinerea and powdery mildew. These diseases considerably impact yields and quality in a wide range of fruit and vegetables crops, and are responsible for significant food losses, pre- and post-harvest.
In solo applications, Biotalys’ biofungicide, Biofun-1, provided high protection against multiple pathogens in majority (over 85 per cent) of the trials as compared to the untreated control. Biofun-1 showed a clean dose response curve, allowing dose rate modulation to adapt to the disease pressure conditions. Under severe disease pressure, a higher dose rate provides comparable protection to the chemical reference without the challenge of residues for the growers.
In 89 % of the trials, the IPM programme with Biofun-1 in rotation with commercial fungicides performed on par with the standard chemical IPM programme, resulting in comparable yield, fruit quality and post-harvest shelf-life while chemical residues were reduced by up to 68 %.
Hans-Jürgen Rosslenbroich, an independent advisor to the company with more than 30 years of experience in product development, including biologicals, commented, “The innovative mode of action of the new Biotalys biofungicide demonstrated a dose-dependent control of economically important plant diseases like Botrytis and powdery mildew in the open field trials. Dose rate-dependent control of plant diseases in field trials that can be hardly seen with biologicals, especially when based on living organisms, is an important step in the development process and could be a unique differentiator for Biotalys’ innovative biofungicide.”
The next field trial programme is already in process. Spanning more than 150 field trials in various crops and different environmental conditions in Europe, South Africa and the United States, the 2020 field trial programme will support the regulatory efficacy data package. It will also focus on the intrinsic activity of the biofungicide, field efficacy validation and characterisation, and the impact of the end-season positioning in harvested fruits and vegetables. This field trial programme complements the ongoing product safety studies that will support the registration dossiers on track to be submitted later this year in the United States and Europe, as well as the development and implementation of the product supply chain.
Luc Maertens, COO of Biotalys, added, “These results clearly indicate the unique potential of our powerful technology platform to deliver new food and crop protection solutions. Our first biofungicide provides growers with a reliable, novel mode of action product to maximise the yield of high-quality fruits and vegetables. The extended shelf-life of tasty, appealing fruits and vegetables with substantially reduced residue levels adds significant value by addressing the needs of both consumers and growers, reducing food waste and securing global export.”