Aug. 8, 2019
Ontera Inc. and BASF have announced a research collaboration to detect diseases and resistances in plants leveraging Ontera’s molecular diagnostic platform. The platform analyzes and quantifies multiple characteristics in less than 20 minutes, enabling farmers to address potential yield issues and threats to their harvest before they take hold, according to company officials. The collaboration between BASF and Ontera has the potential to provide farmers with easy-to-use, laboratory-quality molecular information in the field to enable early, more precise treatment of plant diseases and ensure healthy, high quality yields, say company officials.
“Innovative diagnostic technology to catch threats to yield and quality early on is vital for modern, sustainable agriculture,” said Jürgen Huff, senior vice president research and development crop protection from BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division, in a news release. “Our customers are professionals who expect innovation at the highest standards, and Ontera’s platform is a great complement to the strong innovation portfolio of BASF. It provides farmers with critical information needed to save crops, reduce losses and optimize pesticide application.”
Ontera’s platform uses silicon nanopore single-molecule sensors for multi-plex measurement of nucleic acids, proteins and small molecules. Lightweight and durable enough to be used in the field, it produces a quantitative analysis of traits, pathogens and pathogen resistance in just minutes, avoiding time-consuming laboratory procedures that make in-season, targeted application of crop protection products difficult.
“This collaboration is an excellent example of how Ontera is democratizing precision diagnostics to create a more sustainable planet,” said Murielle Thinard-McLane, CEO of Ontera, in a company news release. “We share BASF’s commitment to sustainable agriculture and by applying innovative thinking to real-world farming challenges, we can improve access to high quality foods in an environmentally healthy way, all while increasing the productivity and predictability of harvests.”
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.