The European Patent Office has recently granted Futureco Bioscience the certificate of the patents EP 3209132 B1 "Bacteria with nematicide activity and ability to promote plant growth" and EP 3258785 B1 "Ensifer adhaerens with nematicide activity". The first product, based on the B25 strain of Lysobacter enzymogenes, is expected to begin the long authorization process as a new phytosanitary active substance during 2021 globally, while several of the prototypes of Ensifer adhaerens strains are being evaluated in massive trials in different regions. J.M. Lara, Technical and Regulatory Affairs Manager: "These patents are some of the fruits of the R&D lines of work that Futureco Bioscience started more than 27 years ago in the development of tools for sustainable agriculture. Today this effort is more justified than ever for the protection of consumer health and the environment".
Nematodes currently pose one of the most serious problems faced by farmers around the world, which see the yield of their crops reduced as a direct result of the presence of these parasites in the roots and rhizosphere. Since the discovery of synthetic soil fumigants more than 50 years ago, their large-scale use is the most distributed technique for the control of nematodes in all types of crops and geographies. However, the dangers to the environment and the health of the population generated by these agricultural techniques have only been revealed in recent times, resulting in restrictions and withdrawal from the market of many of these products. This, coupled with global policies that advocate a drastic reduction in factors that negatively impact the environment, creates the need to develop alternative means of defence, as it is a persistent problem, especially for highly intensive farming.
The use of microorganisms for rational control of nematodes (through the application of Bionematicides) has been used for more than two decades, although the number of products available on the market is derisory compared to synthetic products. Its mode of action and nature are diametrically different from those of fumigants, as it needs a lot of research and adequate technological transfer to the farmers to achieve satisfactory efficiencies. These first patents of Futureco Bioscience S.A. represent a significant milestone for the company and are the result of its determined and recognized commitment in the research of environmentally friendly alternative technologies for the solution of recurring problems in agriculture, and will undoubtedly contribute to expanding the spectrum of ecological tools for cleaner food production.
About Futureco Bioscience: Created in 2004 and based in Olèrdola (Barcelona), Futureco Bioscience is an agro-biotechnology company dedicated to research and innovation of products for crop protection and nutrition. Characterized since its creation by an ecological and sustainable approach, and a regenerative agriculture perspective, the company is distinguished by its organization in house. The research, development and manufacture of all the products is done in the headquarters, from where they are marketed globally: Futureco Bioscience is present in 40 countries and has collaborators and partners all over the world.
Image 1. Scientists, at Futureco Bioscience facilities, preparing the extraction of nematodes from the roots of tomato plants.
Image 2. From above, in an ante-clockwise direction: Roots of tomato plants infected with Root-knot nematodes (RKN) of the genus Meloidogyne. Roots stained with acid fuchsin for observation of the penetration of the nematodes into the root tissue. Meloidogyne juvenile inside a gall in a tomato crop.