Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. (NASDAQ:MBII) (MBI), a leading developer of biological crop protection and plant health solutions, has received a notice of allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for claims covering MBI-110 bacterium as antifungal and growth promotion composition.
MBI previously obtained a patent on the cell broth (which includes the cells, their byproducts and the media used in the fermentation). These additional claims that were allowed include the supernatant and cell fraction (the parts of the fermented bacterial culture containing some anti-fungal and plant health compounds). Together, these claims cover nearly all of the potential commercial embodiments.
MBI’s screening platform was directed at finding a solution to challenging diseases. As such, MBI tested more than 18,000 microbes against important plant pathogens and discovered the MBI-110 bacterium—also known as the Bacillus strain F727—a new strain of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens with a broad spectrum of performance and standout activity against downy mildews, white molds and Botrytis gray mold/bunch rots.
MBI-110 is the active ingredient in MBI’s newest two products, both advanced biofungicides: Amplitude™ is targeted towards white molds in potatoes and pulse crops (peas, beans and lentils), soybeans and more. It also controls pathogenic soil fungi, including diseases such as Sclerotinia, Fusarium and Rhizoctonia, as shown in field trials in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Stargus® is focused on downy mildew, Botrytis gray mold and bunch rot in specialty crops such as grapes, as well as leafy greens. The products are proven to improve plant vigor and overall health.
“Growers were in dire need of a new solution for downy mildews, so our scientists set out to find one,” said Founder and CEO Pam Marrone. “Now, these allowed claims grant MBI the strongest possible protection of any and all parts of the MBI-110 microbe. It protects our Amplitude and Stargus products not only for use as a fungicide and to promote plant growth, but also the microbial broth with the bacteria, and anything produced by the microbe.”
MBI holds more than 400 issued and pending patents, and has brought six EPA-registered biological products and one biostimulant to market – more than any other agricultural inputs company in that time.