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Korean leading amino acids’ provider CJ BIO develops powerful microbes & biostimulants as an alternative to plant protection & nutritionqrcode

Jul. 18, 2022

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Jul. 18, 2022

Korean leading amino acids’ provider CJ BIO develops powerful microbes & biostimulants  as  an alternative to plant protection & nutrition

CJ BIO is the biotechnology and solution business unit of CJ CheilJedang, a leading food and bio-material company in South Korea. A leader in plant-based materials and microbial fermentation technologies, CJ BIO provides amino acids for application in food and animal feed, as well as plant-based proteins, to its customers worldwide. CJ BIO currently supplies amino acids and protein materials to more than 37 countries, with its offerings including L-lysine, L-tryptophan, L-valine and nucleotides, accounting for the highest share of the global market. Made only with very pure L-type free amino acids based on microbes and plant-based materials, CJ BIO’s amino acids offer exceptional efficiency in supplying nutrients, creating an extensive portfolio of differentiated products and solutions for the livestock, food and agricultural industries.


Supported by leading research and development in bio-based materials and microbes, CJ BIO has been rapidly scaling up its Plant Nutrition & Health (PNH) business. Driven by its proprietary technology that maximizes crop yield using microbes and amino acids, CJ BIO focuses on providing sustainable and low-carbon solutions to many customers around the world.


To help customers improve crop yields, CJ BIO has screened strains that can protect crops from fatal diseases using its massive microbial library and automated screening technology. In the field of inoculants, CJ BIO has also generated impressive research data on numerous strains that can help achieve higher yields in major row crops, such as soybeans and corns, as well as remove chemical fertilizers, such as urea from animal feed. Furthermore, CJ BIO has made progress in developing an extensive range of bio-based solutions, such as using biostimulant to leverage the molecular mechanism of amino acids in plants.


With more than 60 years of experience in strain development and fermentation technologies, CJ BIO has successfully delivered microbial products of exceptional efficacy over a very short period of time. Specific functions can be efficiently selected, due to CJ BIO’s huge microbial library and advanced automated systems, such as the robot-arm HTS (High-throughput Screening). These systems have enabled CJ BIO’s team of experts, including fermentation, plant and biological data scientists, to screen powerful microbes that can replace chemical fertilizers and pesticides. In addition to supporting plant growth in the field, they developed large-scale fermentation systems and design stable microbial products with a high cell density. They have also created optimized strains with better performance in the field.


Competitive edge through massive microbial library and automated system for advanced microbial products 


The diverse varieties of microbial products developed by the company have proven to be effective in ensuring biological growth and control effect on row crops, such as soybean and corn, as well as horticultural crops, such as tomato and cucumber. Large-scale field evaluations are underway with companies from South Korea, Japan, Brazil and the US.


cjbio1(inoculant).jpgCJ BIO attained successful test results in a soybean field in Brazil, for its highly-mature inoculant market. CJ BIO developed the special inoculant, Bradyrhizobium, through utilizing its screening microbial library and optimizing the strain and formulation. A field trial in Brazil, the largest soybean cultivator in the world, showed an increase in yield by as much as 8% compared to chemical fertilizers. With the good start in soybeans, CJ BIO also attained notable results in projects aimed at commercializing Azospirillum, which can be applied to row crops, such as corn, wheat and rice.


In terms of biocontrol, CJ BIO has not only looked at controlling target pathogens. The development of a biofilm that prevents new infection and the progression of diseases, as well as induces disease resistance of plants, is also actively underway. Such a combination of functions can help achieve effective disease control in the field.


CJ BIO has successfully identified many strains with outstanding control effect on pathogens and major diseases in row crops, such as soybean, corn and rice, as well as horticultural crops, such as cucumber, tomato and pepper. For example, in a greenhouse, CJ BIO has confirmed a control value of 55% to 75% against major crop diseases, such as Phythphthora stem rot, Rhizoctonia damping-off, Fusarium wilt, angular leaf spot, bacterial soft rot and anthracnose, far more effective than other major microbial pesticides.


cjbio2(efficacy in seedling assay).jpgcjbio3(disease incidence).jpg

There are special adjuvants with enhanced control effect developed through CJ BIO’s proprietary technology. The adjuvants induce disease resistance in plants for effective disease prevention. A mixture of CJ BIO’s adjuvant with microbes is 11% more efficient in disease control compared to just relying on microbes. 



Amino acid-based biostimulant 


CJ BIO’s biostimulant using amino acids is an effective alternative solution to the excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides that can damage the environment. Based on the fact that amino acid forms the basic unit of protein synthesis and serves as a critical component of plant metabolism, growth and defense mechanism to stress, CJ BIO conducted research on using amino acids as a growth regulator. Through researching the molecular mechanisms of 20 amino acids in plants based on transcriptomics technology, CJ BIO created a library of amino acids categorized by function and deepened its understanding of the synergistic and antagonistic effects of amino acids. As a result, it gained knowledge on how to develop a unique powerful amino acid-based biostimulant.


cjbio4(biostimulant-coffee).jpgBy utilizing its proprietary library, CJ BIO can develop products with diverse functions, as well as achieve vegetative growth expected from using conventional fertilizers. Examples of such functions include better reproductive growth, especially in flowering and fruiting, and improving yields and profits through shortening the harvest period, fruit enlargement and enhanced coloring. CJ BIO has applied for patents for products with target efficacies proven during trials on crops.


In order to enhance the commercial value of high-margin crops, such as coffee, CJ BIO went the extra mile to achieve uniformity in fruit ripening, resulting in a more than 16% improvement.


Through a transcriptomics approach, CJ BIO discovered the effects of its biostimulant on fruit ripening caused by the induced expression of genes involved in biosynthesis and the signaling of plant hormones, such as ethylene, auxin and cytokinin. Therefore, the biostimulant can ensure uniformity in fruit development and ripening, through activating plant hormones and downstream signaling pathways.


cjbio5(biostimulant-soybean).jpgAs crops increasingly face a wide range of stressful environments caused by climate change, such as droughts, floods and extreme temperatures, crop yields have been severely undermined. Under such a backdrop, CJ BIO has been committed to addressing declining yield by developing amino acid-based biostimulants that can alleviate stress in hostile environments. For example, CJ BIO led research in the development of an amino acid-based biostimulant that can protect crops from drought stress. As part of the research, a test in a harsh environment, with irrigation reduced to 50% of the conventional level, was conducted on soybeans, which revealed that CJ BIO’s biostimulant reduced drought stress and resulted in soybean yield recovery.


The research on how CJ BIO’s biostimulant relieved drought stress found the increased activation of genes related to overcoming drought stress in plants and those related to ROS (Reactive oxygen species) involving stress response. The activation of the stress relief mechanism in plants lowered drought stress, helped regulate the opening and closing of stomata, and ensured the efficient use of water. As a result, we can expect improved yields even under drought conditions.

Another recent research identified a combination of amino acids with meaningful effects on stress relief in both abnormally high and low temperature conditions caused by unexpected climate change. Accordingly, CJ BIO’s research team has been focusing on developing products that can withstand abnormal temperatures.


CJ BIO is ready to support passionate partners


In line with the efforts to develop innovative products, CJ BIO is also interested in strategic partnerships, to offer sustainable agricultural solutions to a wide range of customers tailored to their unique needs for specific regions or crops.


″CJ BIO is committed to providing innovative forms of agricultural solutions that are in line  with ongoing ESG trends through partnerships, and is ready to fully support passionate partners that are sincere in realizing such innovation and changes,″ said Hyung Suk Lee, Head of Sustainable Growth Business at CJ BIO.


For more details on potential partnerships with CJ BIO, please send your inquiry to CJ BIO’s official email account (plantnh@cj.net). 

CJ CHEILJEDANG

SouthKorea  SouthKorea
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