In 1935, Japanese scientist Yabuta separated an amorphous solid that could promote growth from Gibberella that can cause balance disease and named it Gibberellic Acid.
In 1938, Yabuta and Sumiki separated two types of bioactive crystals from the filtered fluid of the Gibberella culture medium and called them "Gibberellin A" and "Gibberellin B". Unfortunately, the research had to stop because World War II broke out in 1939. Until the early 1950s, British and American scientists obtained the chemically pure product of this substance from a fungal culture solution for the first time. British scientists named it gibberellic acid (1954), while American scientists named it Gibberellin X (1955). Later, it was proved that Gibberellic Acid and Gibberellin X were the same substance, GA3.
In 1955, scientists from the University of Tokyo in Japan further purified their Gibberellin A, and separated three types of Gibberellins, namely Gibberellin A1, Gibberellin A2 and Gibberellin A3. By comparison, they found that Gibberellin A3, gibberellic acid, and Gibberellin X are the same substance. In 1957, scientists from the University of Tokyo separated a new Gibberellin A, and named it Gibberellin A4. Thereafter, the abbreviation GAn is adopted to represent Gibberellin series (Gibberellin An). Later, several new types of GAs were discovered soon, and many substances with the same physiological functions as GAs were found in higher plants that Gibberella did not infect. In 1959, B.E. Cross and others determined the chemical structures of GA3, GA1 and GA5.
Gibberellins are a class of hormone with most types that have been found among plant hormones, up to 135 species. However, only a few types of Gibberellins (such as GA1, GA3, GA4, GA7 and GA5) have physiological activity in plants, while others have no biological activity and are all intermediates or metabolites of Gibberellins biosynthesis. Mainly embryos, stem tips, root tips, growing seeds and fruits contain Gibberellins. The Gibberellins’ most significant physiological function is to promote stem elongation, and it has an obvious regulatory effect on dwarf plants. In addition, Gibberellins can also induce flowering of plants, and its effect on plants without vernalization and long-day plants is remarkable. It can also break dormancy, promote seed germination, promote differentiation of male flowers, induce parthenocarpy and improve fruit setting rate, inhibit maturation and organ aging, promote tuber formation, etc.
Before 1958, GA3 was believed to have the highest activity in gibberellic acids, and was taken as the representative of this class. The later application research indicated that, in general, GA3 has the most significant effect on stem elongation, followed by GA4, GA7, GA1, GA5, etc., and GA7 plays the greatest role in promoting flowering and fruit setting, followed by GA4, GA3, etc. However, in terms of fostering fruit-setting and the five-ridge process of apples, GA7 and GA4 are the best (for example, for Huaniu apples), and GA5 is the best in promoting parthenocarpy of tomatoes, followed by GA3, GA4, GA7, etc.
GA3 has apparent advantages in elongation and growth promotion, while GA4+7 is more outstanding in safety and fruit shape adjustment.
Promote Development of Plant Growth Regulators in Combination with Policy Advantages
Taking relative policies of China and the European Union (EU) into consideration, Hangzhou REACH24H Technology Co., Ltd. made the following analysis on the market environment of Gibberellic Acids: In September 2020, to implement the spirit of the reform of “Streamline Administration, Delegate Power, Strengthen Regulation and Improve Services” of the State Council, the Pesticide Management Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs decided to promote the implementation of the green channel management measures for pesticide registration and approval under the Regulations on Pesticide Administration and the Measures on the Management of Pesticide Registration, to speed up the registration and approval process of biological pesticides, high-toxic pesticide substitutes and pesticides for characteristic non-staple crops under the premise of ensuring the high efficiency and safety of products. In implementing the green channel management measures for pesticide registration and approval, the development of the bio-pesticide industry has been mainly encouraged to accelerate the research and development of biotechnologies, improve industrialization rates of products, and speed up the pace of registration and commercialization of bio-pesticides.
According to the classification system of List of Active Ingredients of China's Biological Pesticide Registration (2020 Edition)" (Draft for Comments) formulated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the application scope of "Green Channel" of biological pesticides include microbial pesticides, botanical pesticides, biochemical pesticides, as well as agricultural antibiotics produced through biological fermentation. Since Gibberellins are a class of plant growth regulators, they are classified as biochemical pesticides according to biological pesticides. Therefore, they meet the requirements of "Green Channel" products. In the process of opening and registering relative pesticide products, pesticide supervision authorities will strengthen guidance services and prioritize technical review.
Although more than 100 types of Gibberellin derivatives were discovered in plants, fungi and bacteria, only two types of active ingredients, Gibberellin A3 (Gibberellins acid) and Gibberellin A4+A7 (Gibberellins), have been registered in China, the United States (US) and the EU. It should be pointed out that active ingredients of Gibberellins registered in the US included potassium salt of Gibberellins (CAS No.: 125-67-7). However, the active ingredient is now in the state of registration invalidation. In addition, in recent years, China Agricultural University used Gibberellins as raw materials to construct the skeleton of dihydro Gibberellin and found a series of new high-activity dihydro Gibberellin derivatives (CN201711365213.4). Recently, the new type of Gibberellins has entered the industrial application stage.
As plant growth regulators (PGRs), Gibberellins are featured with low dosage and low toxicity, so they are similarly described as "low-risk pesticides" in the laws and regulations of pesticides in China, Europe and the US. In the US, Gibberellins obtained a temporary decision to be re-evaluated in 2019. The evaluation data of the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) also showed that Gibberellins’ health and environmental risks were acceptable. Eight enterprises have obtained technical concentrate registrations in this re-evaluation, namely, Stoller Enterprises, Inc., Fine AgroChemicals, Ltd., Repar Corp., Advanced Foliar Nutrients Systems, Plant Synergists, Inc., CH BioTech R&D Co. Ltd., Valent BioSciences, LLC and NuFarm Americas, Inc.
In the EU, both Gibberellic Acid A3 and Gibberellic Acid A4+A7 are at the re-evaluating stage (RMS is Slovenia and Co-RMS is Slovakia). The working group for promoting the re-evaluation of Gibberellic Acid A3 includes six enterprises, namely, Valent Biosciences Corporation (Sumitomo Chemical Agro Europe), Fine Agrochemicals Ltd, Globachem NV, Nufarm SAS, L. Gobbi s.r.l. and Aifar Agrochimica Srl. And the working group for promoting Gibberellic Acid A4+A7 includes three enterprises, namely, Valent Biosciences Corporation, Fine Agrochemicals Ltd and Globachem NV. In general, the re-evaluation data of the EU still supports the theory that Gibberellic Acid A3 is a low-risk pesticide, but Novagib®, a Gibberellic Acid A4+A7 preparation produced by Fine Agrochemicals Ltd, was found to contain Myriophyllum spicatum, an aquatic plant that has acute and chronic toxicity (both LC50 and NOEC are less than 0.95 mg a.i./L). Although other ingredients in the product cause the toxic effect of Gibberellin preparation Novagib® to some extent, the data may eventually lead to Gibberellins A4+A7 failing to meet the EU low-risk pesticide regulations in this re-evaluation.
About the opening and registration of Gibberellin preparation products, relatively few products have been registered in the EU. Most of them are single-dose Gibberellic Acid A3 and Gibberellic Acid A4+A7, and only one is a mixed preparation, benayl aminopurine compounded with Gibberellic Acid A4+A7. And their application is mainly limited to promoting fruit growth or regulating growth of crops such as apples, pears, grapes, ornamental plants, etc. In the US, besides single-dose Gibberellin products, active ingredients in compounded products also include benayl aminopurine, indoleacetic acid and Kinetin, etc. Compared with the EU, seed production was added to the main application scope of Gibberellin preparations, and tank mixing is also allowed. In China, Gibberellins are currently popular products that have been developed and registered. As of August 30, 2021, 19 Gibberellin technical concentrates and 158 Gibberellin preparations have been registered. Compared with European and American countries, the types and applications of Gibberellin preparation products in China have significantly increased. A series of binary or ternary Gibberellin preparation products have been developed. For example, Gibberellins are compounded with other plant growth regulators such as benzyl aminopurine, indoleacetic acid, brassinolide, thidiazuron, S-ABA, forchlorfenuron and diethyl aminoethyl hexanoate, etc. Moreover, Gibberellin preparation products also cover many registered crops, including fruit trees, ornamental plants, vegetables, rice, corn, cotton and others.
Sichuan Lomon Bio: the Core Producer of Gibberellic Acid Technical Concentrate
Sichuan Lomon Bio Technology Co., Ltd. is located in Meishan Economic Development Zone, Sichuan Province. It was founded in 2000, with an investment of about 250 million yuan and an area of more than 150 mu. It is a wholly-owned biotechnology subsidiary of Sichuan Lomon Corporation, a global leading enterprise in the titanium and phosphorus chemical industries.
Since its foundation, the company has conducted deep cooperation with experts from the US, Japan and China in research and development and built a R&D "aircraft carrier fleet". At present, it has a national-level research and development platform, National Joint Engineering Research Center of Nutrient Auxin Microbial Fermentation Technology, 19 invention technology patents and nine utility model patents. In 2003, the company was selected into the "Thousand Talents Plan" of Sichuan Province. It has plenty profession talents and competitive technical strength in research and development.
Paten List of Lomon Bio
Patent No./Patent Application No.
A plant growth regulating composition with fruit enlargement effect
A plant growth regulating composition with fruit quality improvement effect
A plant growth regulating composition with cold resistance effect
A pesticide composition with disease resistance and growth promotion effects
A plant growth regulating composition with drought resistance effect
A concentrated pesticide composition and its application method
A aliphatic acid composition
A fungicide composition and its application
A composition with bactericidal and nematode prevention and control effects.
A treatment process of wastewater from abscisic acid production.
A composition, preparation and its application
A composition, preparation and its application
Utility Model Patent
A fermentation heating device
A fermentation culture medium for producing gibberellic acid
A preparation method of gibberellic acid
A fermentation method of gibberellic acid
Utility Model Patent
An automatic feeding device for chemical defoaming agent in fermentation tank
A fully water-soluble titanium fertilizer and its preparation method
Gibberellic acid strains and technologies are all introduced from Abbott in the US. These strains and technologies lead to extremely high acid production rates, and thus the production capacity of technical concentrate per unit volume is above the industry average. The company takes the leading position in the industry regarding the consumption of raw materials, production energy consumption and sewage discharge.
The company officially started the production of the technical concentrate and preparations of gibberellic acid in 2017. Its products aroused an enthusiastic response when they came into the domestic market. After just a year's promotion, the market matured gradually, and the products gained the recognition and trust of customers. In 2018, the technical concentrate was in tight supply for the first time, and the situation continues to this day. To alleviate the shortage of supply and provide high-quality products to more customers, the company plans to fully utilize the production capacity of gibberellic acid technical concentrate in 2022, reaching its designed capacity of 230 tons/year. Therefore, its production capacity of gibberellic acid technical concentrate will account for more than 50% in China. The company will become the largest producer and supplier of the product globally.
Lomon Bio’s factory is located in Meishan city, southeast Sichuan, and its annual average electricity cost is lower than that of competitors in the same industry. The company’s stable and powerful supply system ensures sufficient and uninterrupted supply of raw materials throughout the year. The factory’s sewage discharge reaches extremely high standards because the company has total supporting facilities, set a high standard for itself and actively responded to the national call for environmental protection. Although the factory is located in a food industrial park, authorities have never been forced to shut it down due to any possible problems. The factory can operate without interruption throughout the year and guarantee the supply of qualified products to the market.
Lomon Bio: Take Root in China and Focus on the World
In addition to promoting gibberellic acid technical concentrate in the domestic market, Lomon Bio will continue to develop new dosage forms, new products, new applications based on other advantageous products (since 2000, the company has been focusing on the research and development and production of the technical concentrate and preparations of high-tech product "S-ABA". It has production capacity of 50 tons of S-ABA technical concentrate and 10 tons of indolebutyric acid technical concentrate.). The products include S-ABA preparations, gibberellic acid preparations and functional fertilizers. Lomon Bio is committed to providing high-quality products and services for agriculture. In addition to the registrations in China, the company has also obtained registration certificates and organic certifications in 15 countries worldwide. At present, Lomon Bio continues to promote overseas registrations and market exploitation to market products all over the world so that customers can use the high-quality products of Lomon Bio.
Lomon Bio will carry forward the spirit of "Aggressiveness and Innovation, Honesty and Pragmatism, Loyalty and Dedication", make efforts to "Serve China's Agriculture" with green, ecological and efficient products, and realize the grand blueprint of "Excellent Lomon, Global Lomon and Centennial Lomon".
This article was initially published in AgroPages' '2021 Market Insight' magazine.