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TMCNet:  BmJ WG Biological Plant Activator Submitted for Concurrent Registration Review, to Manage Disease on a Wide Variety of Agricultural Crops

[June 10, 2014]

BmJ WG Biological Plant Activator Submitted for Concurrent Registration Review, to Manage Disease on a Wide Variety of Agricultural Crops

COLUMBIA, Md. --(Business Wire)--

After conducting two years of intensive field trials against diseases in key target crops, Certis USA has submitted BmJ WG biological plant activator for concurrent review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Department of Pesticide Registration (CDPR) and joint review with the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) of Health Canada. Building on earlier trials by Montana State University and collaborators targeting Cercospora leaf spot of sugarbeets, potato virus Y and other important crop diseases, the Certis USA field development team found that BmJ shows excellent efficacy in the control of gummy stem blight on cucurbits, downy mildew on leafy vegetables, and late and early blights of potatoes. Based on the levels of disease control attained in trials, the proposed labeling includes uses on potatoes, sugarbeets, cucurbits, fruiting vegetables, lettuce, spinach and pecans.

Dr. Michael Dimock, Director of Field Development at Certis USA, said, "BmJ represents a new class of biological disease control agents. As our field development program expands, and as the trial data accumulate, we are amazed by the spectrum of efficacy and market potential of BmJ."

The active ingredient of BmJ WG is a naturally occurring bacterium (Bacillus mycoides isolate J) shown by discoverer Prof. Barry Jacobsen of Montana State University to trigger a plant's natural immune response to pathogenic fungi, bacteria and viruses in a phenomenon known as systemic acquired resistance (or SAR). As Jacobsen explained, plants respond to initial deection of potentially pathogenic microorganisms by "switching on" resistance genes, causing a cascade of metabolic responses to limit infection and disease development. While some microbial biofungicides have been reported to also have moderate SAR activity, BmJ is unique in that it works entirely as a microbial SAR activator with no direct antagonistic effect on plant pathogens. BmJ induces the same genetic resistance pathway as the class of chemical SAR inducers known as benzothiadiazoles, but for longer periods and with lower risk of phytotoxicity.

These characteristics make BmJ a valuable tool for use in fungicide resistance management programs. "Because BmJ acts so differently from most fungicides, with no direct action against a specific pathogen target site, it has great potential for use in disease management programs designed to reduce the risk and consequences of fungicide resistance," Dimock said. "In fact, Dr. Jacobsen's fieldwork over the past decade has already demonstrated the utility of BmJ in programs for management of fungicide-resistant Cercospora leaf spot in sugarbeets. We expect to see similar benefits in other crops where resistance to conventional fungicides presents a serious challenge."

BmJ has been found to be compatible with a wide range of pesticides, including triazole, EDBC and QoI class fungicides and a wide range of insecticides, making it ideal for use in IPM programs. The Certis USA team found disease control to be equal to commercial standards when BmJ is used in combination with low rates of fungicides or in alternating programs where BmJ replaces half the fungicide used in fungicide-alone programs. Recent studies also indicate that the benefits of BmJ may extend to management of postharvest diseases. Certis USA expects that BmJ will be approved by the EPA for use on organic crops.

Certis USA has partnered with Montana State University-Bozeman and Montana BioAgriculture Inc. of Missoula, MT, in a global license agreement to develop, manufacture and commercialize the BmJ technology worldwide on a wide range of crops and diseases. Certis USA was selected to manufacture and market BmJ because of its expertise in fermentation (in its Wasco, CA (News - Alert), facility), downstream processing and formulation of biopesticides.

Headquartered in Columbia, MD, Certis USA is a leading manufacturer and distributor of a broad line of biopesticide products for specialty agricultural and horticultural markets and the home and garden market. Certis USA products provide valuable solutions by meeting the challenges faced by today's growers who are seeking sustainable alternatives, resistant pest management and harvest solutions, and low pesticide residues for market flexibility and export accessibility. For more information about Certis USA or its products visit www.CertisUSA.com.


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