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Biotechnology-enabled Agriculture Is In Full Swing, With Traditional And Emerging Companies Competing For First Placeqrcode

Dec. 6, 2023

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Dec. 6, 2023

Agricultural biology, widely known as agricultural biotechnology, is the application of scientific techniques and concepts to improve agricultural productivity, sustainability and efficiency. Advances in agriculture rely heavily on biotechnology research, which provides valuable insights into the genetic and physiological characteristics of crops. By studying the genetics and biochemistry of crops, researchers can develop innovative varieties and bio-inputs to increase crop resilience to environmental stresses, increase yields and improve the nutritional content of agricultural products.


Agricultural biotechnology refers to the genetic modification of living plants, animals, microorganism and other agricultural commodities (e.g., products, feeds, fibers) through a range of tools, including genetic processes and some traditional breeding techniques. This usually refers to recombinant DNA technology that introduces a desired trait into the target organism, mainly pest and herbicide resistance in crops. It also includes a range of new genome editing technologies (e.g. CRISPR-Cas9) that allow manipulation of genetic material at precise locations in the genome.


From the U.S. to China to Europe, there are a number of companies around the world that are working on innovations around the topic of biotechnology in agriculture.


According to a study by Allied Market Research, the global agricultural biotechnology market was valued at $93.1 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $214.6 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 8.8% from 2022 to 2031. The Asia-Pacific region will provide more business opportunities for the global agricultural biotechnology market in the future.

Emerging technologies: four multinationals not absent

Biotechnology is used in the agricultural production materials industry in four main areas: seed industry, genetically modified crops, biopesticides and biofertilizers. The market is dominated by agricultural multinationals such as Syngenta, BASF, Corteva and Bayer.


Agricultural biotechnology is an area of intensive research and requires highly skilled human resources to achieve significant results. Many developing economies lack skilled human resources, and even when they are available, they are either in short supply or are not given adequate opportunities. Inadequate allocation of R&D budgets, lack of research infrastructure, and insufficient human resources and expertise in the developing economies of firms are expected to limit their growth. Traditional multinational companies do not have an obvious first-mover advantage over emerging companies in this regard, but by actively using financial means such as acquisitions and investments to build their own moats, they can stay ahead of others in the field of biotechnology.


Syngenta has world-class plant protection development capabilities and leading seed industry biotechnology, ranked first in the global plant protection industry, seed industry ranked third in the field of digital agriculture in a leading position. As the world’s second largest seed company, Syngenta has been committed to applying biotechnology to improve crop varieties to meet the world’s growing demand for food. In recent years, Syngenta has stepped up its efforts in digital innovation, actively utilizing big data, artificial intelligence and other new technologies to promote the transformation and upgrading of traditional breeding.


In addition, Syngenta has established strategic cooperation with Inari, a pioneer in gene editing technology, to explore the application of genome editing technology in major crops such as maize, with a view to cultivating new varieties with excellent traits in drought resistance and other aspects. This demonstrates the importance Syngenta attaches to CRISPR and other gene editing technologies, and its active promotion of the commercialization of these cutting-edge technologies.


Syngenta is improving the traditional breeding model through digital innovation and gene editing technology, striving to make breakthroughs in increasing food production and improving the quality of crop screening. These efforts will help Syngenta stay ahead of the fastchanging frontiers of agricultural technology and benefit more farmers and consumers.


As a leading global chemical company, BASF not only provides chemical inputs for agriculture, but also attaches great importance to the development and application of biotechnology. In recent years, BASF has continued to increase its investment in biotechnology innovation, and is committed to developing efficient and safe bio-agricultural solutions.


In 2022, BASF announced that it will continue its efforts in R&D for agricultural solutions over the next 5-10 years, focusing on biotechnology innovations. For example, BASF has developed microbial preparations using probiotics, which can effectively activate the plant’s own immune system to enhance resistance. In addition, BASF has also developed new and safer fungicides through genomic technology to reduce the use of pesticides.


It can be seen that BASF is gradually transforming from traditional agrochemicals to biotechnology and biopesticides. This is an important step for BASF to respond to the market demand of consumers for environmentally friendly and safe agricultural products and to promote the sustainable development of agriculture. BASF’s investment in agricultural biotechnology innovation is expected to continue to increase as the regulatory environment opens up.



As a major global pesticide manufacturer, Corteva has been committed to the research and development of new pesticide products with high efficiency and low toxicity. In recent years, Corteva has increased its investment in biotechnology and actively utilized bioengineering methods to develop innovative biopesticides.


In 2022, Corteva launched a major project to produce natural pesticides through genome technology by modifying microorganisms, which are derived from microorganisms’ own metabolites with high safety and low environmental impact. The success of this technology will greatly reduce the environmental pollution of pesticides. In addition, Corteva has developed an insect control technology utilizing RNA interference, which can kill crop pests without altering the plant genome.


As the regulatory environment becomes more relaxed and consumer demand changes, Corteva is accelerating its transition from traditional chemical pesticides to biotechnology innovation. These initiatives will not only help reduce pesticide residues, but also improve the effectiveness of insecticides and reduce environmental hazards. It is expected that Corteva’s investment in agricultural biotechnology will continue to increase in the future.


As one of the world’s largest suppliers of agrochemicals, Bayer has strong capabilities in the research and development of traditional chemical pesticides. At the same time, Bayer is also actively expanding its biotechnology innovation business to meet the needs of sustainable agriculture.


In 2022, Bayer announced that it is focusing on innovations in the areas of digitalization and biotechnology over the next five years. For example, Bayer has developed insecticidal products utilizing RNA interference technology, which can efficiently silence the genes of pests and cause their death, while being safe for humans and animals. Bayer has also developed drought-resistant hybrid rice varieties through genomic technology.


Bayer is accelerating the pace of biotechnology innovation to reduce its dependence on chemical pesticides. This is an important step taken by Bayer in response to the trend of sustainable agriculture and to meet consumer demand for green food. With the further liberalization of the regulatory environment, it is expected that Bayer’s investment in agricultural biotechnology will continue to increase.

Win-win cooperation, the four giants hand in hand with emerging enterprises to create a future together

Cooperation is beneficial to both parties, while separation is a losing proposition. This saying is appropriate and suitable for multinational agrochemical giants. In recent years, the world’s leading agricultural biotech companies have established extensive cooperation with innovative SMEs, which is of strategic importance to both sides. On the one hand, SMEs hold the advantages of biotechnology innovation, and on the other hand, multinational companies have strong capital strength and globalized sales network. Through strategic cooperation, SMEs’ innovative technologies can quickly enter the global market, while TNCs can realize revenue growth through innovative technologies.


Using the aid of biotechnology in agricultural production is also a brand new challenge for multinational agricultural giants, in which multinational corporations have capital advantages but not firstmover advantages and technological leadership. These SMEs are also an important source of biotechnology innovation, and the products generated through the biotechnology at their disposal are being fasttracked to the market through the global distribution networks of the multinationals and are helping the multinational agricultural giants to realize their revenue growth plans. These SMEs are mainly Harpe Bioherbicide Solutions, Inc., Tropic, Pairwise, GreenVenus, GDM, Benson Hill, BetterSeeds and others.


Specifically, recent key collaborations include: Syngenta’s collaboration with Harpe on the application of gene editing technology to develop novel bioherbicides; Corteva’s collaboration with Tropic to develop disease resistant crops using gene silencing technology; Benson Hill’s acquisition of herbicide tolerance in crops through a licensing agreement with Corteva; and BASF’s strategic investment in Bota, a synthetic biotechnology startup. Bota Bio, a synthetic biotech startup; Pairwise and Bayer collaborated to optimize corn varieties using gene editing technology. As you can see, the innovations involved in these cases are mainly in the areas of gene editing, pheromones and microorganisms.


Specific to each company: in recent years, Syngenta has established partnerships with a number of innovative SMEs, mainly in microbial and gene editing technologies. In addition to Harpe, Syngenta has partnered with biotech company Provivi on the use of pheromone technology to control rice pests, and with startup M2i on the development of pheromone technology to manage grapevine pests. These initiatives significantly expand Syngenta’s portfolio of sustainable agriculture solutions.


Corteva has also entered into strategic partnerships with a number of innovative companies, particularly in the application of gene editing technology. In addition to its partnership with Tropic, Corteva has partnered with Pairwise to develop drought- and heat-resistant crop varieties. Corteva has also recently established a $10 million gene editing innovation fund to support startups in related fields. This demonstrates Cordial’s strategic vision in fostering core innovative technologies.


Bayer has established cooperation with Ginkgo, a synthetic biotechnology company, to develop microbial pesticides, and has made a strategic investment with Inari, a genome editing company, to lay out gene editing technology. In addition, Bayer has set up Grants4Ag, a grant program for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to support advanced technology, research related to sustainable agriculture. This reflects Bayer’s proactive approach to open innovation.


BASF recently invested in Bota Bio, a synthetic biotechnology startup, and entered into a strategic partnership with Ingredient Biologics to develop active ingredients for herbal skin care products. This demonstrates BASF’s strategy in the field of white biotechnology. In addition, BASF also announced to invest 1 billion euros in digital agricultural innovation, and carry out in-depth cooperation with innovative enterprises.


To summarize, the strategic cooperation between MNCs and innovative SMEs has benefited both parties. The technological advantages of SMEs and the capital strength of multinational corporations have been effectively combined to promote the progress and application of agricultural biotechnology. In the future, this kind of cross-border cooperation will continue to be active, and jointly promote the sustainable development of agriculture.


Specifically, this kind of cooperation mainly focuses on the following technological innovation fields.


First, gene editing technology: CRISPR-Cas9 and other gene editing tools provide the possibility of precise improvement of crop traits. SMEs possessing the relevant core technologies can turn geneediting technologies into commercial products through cooperation with multinational companies.


Second, pheromone technology. Pheromones, as non-toxic and environmentally friendly insect behavioral regulators, have a broad prospect of application in pest control. Small and medium-sized enterprises are the main source of technological innovation in this field.


Third, microbial technology. Microorganisms can be used in many fields such as biopesticides and soil nutrition. SMEs have accumulated knowledge and technology in screening and applying microorganisms.


Fourth, synthetic biology. Utilizing synthetic biology to design and produce new agricultural inputs such as antimicrobial peptides and bio-actives is a potential innovation direction.


Fifth, digital agriculture. Digital agriculture technologies based on big data, sensors, and machine learning have also attracted extensive collaboration between multinational companies and start-ups.


Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are an important engine for agricultural biotechnology innovation, while multinational companies have key commercialization capabilities. Strategic collaboration between the two can help innovators grow while benefiting large corporations. This mode of cooperation gives full play to the strengths of both sides, which is conducive to the formation of an innovation ecosystem and promotes the healthy development of agricultural biotechnology. Looking to the future, encouraging crossborder cooperation and exchanges and fostering more influential technological innovations will be an important step in promoting sustainable agricultural development.


Biological breeding based on genetic engineering is the hottest direction

With the rapid development of biotechnology, the application of genetic engineering in the field of agricultural breeding has attracted much attention. Since the commercialization of genetically modified crops cultivated by genetic engineering in the 1990s, they have made an important contribution to the increase of production and food security. At the same time, the emergence of a new generation of gene editing technology has made it possible to realize more precise genetic engineering. Currently and in the future, genetic engineeringbased bio-breeding will continue to be the hottest area of research and development.


According to a recent publication by Meticulous Research, the plant breeding market is expected to reach $33.79 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 14.1% from 2022 to 2029. Growing awareness about the importance of sustainable crop production, decreasing cost of genomic solutions, and increasing focus on sustainable crop production technological advancements in the field of plant breeding are some of the factors driving the growth of the global plant breeding market. Moreover, increasing investments by seed companies and rise in supportive regulations for molecular breeding are expected to provide significant growth opportunities for the stakeholders in this market.


Firstly, genetically engineered breeding can increase crop yield potential. Traditional breeding relies on combinations of existing traits with limited scope for improvement. Genetic engineering, on the other hand, can introduce good genes from different species into crops, breaking the genetic barrier across species and significantly raising the yield limit. For example, the average yields of corn and cotton with Bt gene have increased by 10% and 15% respectively.


Second, genetic engineering breeding can give crops new resistance. Through the introduction of drought-resistant, flood-resistant, pest-resistant and other related functional genes, new varieties can be bred to have stronger adaptability to the adverse environment. Bayer’s drought-resistant corn product, DroughtGard, enhances the drought resistance of corn by introducing genes for cold-responsive factors. Other companies are also developing strategies to improve plant stress tolerance by using CRISPR/Cas9 to introduce NAC transcription factors.


Third, genetic engineering breeding is more efficient. While traditional breeding takes ten years or more from seed selection to finalization of cultivation, the application of genetic engineering technology can complete the cultivation of new varieties in 3-5 years. At the same time, traditional breeding relies on trial and error, while genetic engineering can be targeted to modify specific traits. For example, Calyxt (Cibus) bred a high oleic soybean product in only 3 years through gene editing technology.


Fourth, the new generation of gene editing technology has greater potential for application. Compared with traditional genetic modification technology, new technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9 can realize more precise cutting and modification of chromosomes. It can activate or inhibit target genes without inserting exogenous genes, and its in vitro operation makes the breeding process more controllable. Therefore, the new generation of gene editing technology is considered to be a more precise and safer means of genetic engineering.


Major agri-biotech companies are active in the field of genetically engineered breeding.


Indian startup BioPrime AgriSolutions focuses on the plant tissue culture and agri-biotech sectors. It utilizes cellular technologies such as double haploidy, somatic embryogenesis, micropropagation, and in vitro mutagenesis to support plant breeding. In addition, it utilizes plant compounds and plantassociated microorganisms to create sustainable bioproducts. These technologies are based on the innate ability of plants to cope with unfavorable conditions and on the symbiotic relationship between plants and surrounding microorganisms. As a result, the startup has developed a bio-organic and sustainable solution to improve crop health, nutrition and yield.


KWS SAAT is a German biotechnology company specializing in plant breeding and seed production. KWS SAAT develops new plant varieties for a range of crops, including maize, sugar beet and cereals. The company’s focus is on developing varieties that are more resilient to climate change and better suited to specific growing conditions. KWS SAAT produces and distributes high-quality seeds for a wide range of crops. The company’s focus is on developing seeds with higher yields, better disease resistance and higher quality. KWS SAAT’s focus is on the development of new plant varieties and the production of high-quality seeds that help farmers increase crop yields, reduce inputs and create more sustainable food systems.


Inari is an American biotechnology innovation company that uses gene editing and machine learning to develop crops with desirable traits such as drought tolerance, disease resistance and improved nutrition. inari utilizes CRISPR gene editing technology to make precise changes to plant DNA. The technology allows the company to develop crops with desirable traits, such as drought tolerance, disease resistance and improved nutrition. Inari is using gene editing to develop a range of crops, including corn, soybeans and wheat. The company’s focus is on developing crops that are more resilient, sustainable and better suited to specific growing conditions. inari uses machine learning and data analytics to identify genes that can be used to improve crops. This technology allows the company to develop crops more efficiently and effectively than traditional breeding methods. Inari’s work focuses on using cutting-edge technology to develop crops with desirable traits that are more resilient, sustainable and better suited to specific growing conditions. Their work has the potential to revolutionize the agricultural industry by creating more sustainable and efficient ways of producing food.


Benson Hill is an American biotechnology company focused on computational biology and gene editing technologies to improve crop traits and sustainability. Benson Hill utilizes computational biology and gene editing technologies to improve crop traits such as yield, drought tolerance, disease resistance and nutrition. The company’s CropOS platform uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to identify genes that can be used for crop improvement. Benson Hill develops botanical ingredients for food and beverage products. The company’s ultra-high-protein soybeans have a higher protein content than conventional soybeans and can be used to produce plant-based meat substitutes. Benson Hill’s focus is on utilizing cutting-edge technologies to develop sustainable and innovative solutions for agriculture.


In summary, genetic engineering will remain the core direction of agricultural biotechnology innovation. On the one hand, the existing transgenic technology will continue to improve the yield and adaptability of traditional crops; on the other hand, the new gene editing technology, as a more precise and environmentally friendly tool, will also promote a new round of germplasm innovation and seed industry change Major enterprises are actively laying out this field. Genetic engineering breeding is expected to provide important support for solving the problem of food security, and its R & D investment and commercialization process is expected to continue to heat up. At the same time, it is also necessary to further improve the regulatory system to achieve a balance between scientific and technological innovation and public safety.

The rebirth of microbial technology will be the wave of the future

As an environmentally friendly and efficient agricultural input technology, microbial technology was once popular in the first half of the 20th century, but it was gradually replaced by chemical agricultural materials. Nowadays, under the background of sustainable development, microbial technology is experiencing a rebirth and is expected to lead a new round of change in the agricultural industry.

The global agricultural microorganisms market will reach US$5.27 billion in 2021. The market is expected to grow from USD 6 billion in 2022 to USD 15.71 billion by 2029, at a CAGR of 14.74% during the forecast period. North America accounted for the largest agricultural microorganisms market share, reaching USD 2.09 billion by 2021. South America is expected to be the fastest growing region as farmers start replacing chemical fertilizers with microbes, which is expected to boost sales in the region. Asia Pacific is yet to offer untapped opportunities in the booming region.


Microbial technology utilizes various types of naturally occurring microorganisms to develop agricultural products that can be used in a variety of areas such as soil remediation, promotion of nutrient uptake, and improvement of disease resistance. Compared with chemical agricultural materials, microbial technology is of natural origin, has a low impact on the environment, and promotes soil microbial diversity. Currently, microbial technology has the following major development directions.


The first is microbial fertilizer. Many soil microorganisms can fix nitrogen, dissolve phosphorus, secretion of growth hormone, etc., which can directly improve the ability of crops to obtain nutrients. Bio-fertilizers can replace part of chemical fertilizers and improve soil quality at the same time. The second is microbial insecticide. The use of Bacillus thuringiensis, Beauveria bassiana and other natural insecticidal microbial preparations, can control crop pests. The advantages are high efficiency, low toxicity and no resistance. The second is microbial extracts. Some soil and marine microorganisms can produce growth-promoting, antibacterial and other active substances, which can be extracted and applied to plant protection and nutritional products. Finally, there is the plant microbiome. The application of beneficial microorganisms to plant ″microbiomes″ can enhance their nutritional and disease resistance properties. Studies have shown that the addition of Rhizobium can increase rice yield by more than 20%.


Major players have also been laying their hands on microbial technology:


Mexican startup Microendo synthesizes personalized biofertilizers. It identifies microbes living around or inside plants to customize organic fertilizers to their needs. This improves plant health and restores the crop’s original microbiota. Additionally, using the original microbes in the process improves crop immunity and reduces the need for other agrochemicals. The startup also offers AgaveProtect, a biofertilizer based on the agave plant’s own microbiota. Farmers use it to protect crops from bud rot and ethylene overproduction, which can lead to plant stress.


Indigo Agriculture is a USbased biotechnology company that develops plant microbes and other bio-inputs to increase crop yields and reduce the use of synthetic chemicals in agriculture. Indigo Agriculture develops a range of microbial products that can be applied to seeds or soil to improve crop yields and resilience. These products include inter-root bacteria to improve plant nutrient uptake and stress tolerance, and endophytes to prevent pests and diseases. Indigo Agriculture has launched a program called Indigo Carbon, which empowers farmers to sequester carbon in the soil through regenerative agricultural practices. The program provides incentives to farmers who adopt these practices and can help mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Indigo Agriculture’s work focuses on developing sustainable and innovative solutions to increase crop yields, reduce the use of synthetic chemicals and mitigate climate change. Their work has the potential to revolutionize the agricultural industry and help solve some of the biggest challenges facing global food production.


Located in Jalisco, Microendo produces customized biofertilizers using the microbiota present in their clients’ plants after understanding their needs. The custom biofertilizers are organic and customized for each crop, naturally helping to improve crop yields and health.


Microbial technology is undergoing rapid development, and its environmentally friendly and efficient features fit the contemporary needs of sustainable agriculture. Leading companies are continuing to expand their presence in the field. As the technology continues to mature and industrialization progresses, microbial technology is expected to once again lead the wave of change in the agricultural industry and become an important force in promoting green agriculture.

Synthetic biology: a miraculous solution to creating something from nothing

Synthetic biology is a burgeoning discipline that seeks to create new life forms and biological functions out of nothing by designing and redesigning biological systems. In the field of agriculture, synthetic biology also brings revolutionary application prospects.


The goal of synthetic biology is to construct new biological components, pathways, networks and systems. It integrates multidisciplinary cutting-edge theories and technologies, including gene synthesis, gene editing, bioinformatics, systems biology, and automated high-throughput experimental platforms. Synthetic biology can carry out the design of non-natural genetic elements, genome synthesis, metabolic pathway reconstruction, etc., and realize the targeted creation of biological function modules.


In the field of agricultural biotechnology, synthetic biology brings three application opportunities.


First, designing new microbial fertilizers and biocontrol products. The use of synthetic biology can realize the planning and design of microbial genomes and metabolic pathways, and obtain new strain models. These ″designer bacteria″ can be used to improve soil fertility, nitrogen fixation and plant growth. Secondly, the production of efficient agricultural active ingredients. The synthetic biology platform can be used for high-density fermentation to produce plant protection substances, growth factors and other active ingredients, reducing production costs. Third, to cultivate new crop varieties. With the help of gene synthesis and editing technology, we can reorganize multiple genomes to obtain new types of crops. Or through the design of domesticated microorganisms to modify the plant microbiome to improve adaptability.


Major companies are also optimistic about the potential applications of synthetic biology:


Bioheuris, an Argentine startup, combines synthetic biology and gene editing to develop herbicide-resistant crops. Herbicides are a solution for controlling weeds, but are toxic to plants. Therefore, the startup works on developing solutions for mixing herbicides to avoid the repeated use of single herbicides in the field. Its technology platform identifies mutations and deploys tissue culture and gene editing to enhance herbicide resistance in plants. The startup also develops herbicide combinations to slow the evolution of weeds to become resistant to these herbicides. This could improve crop longevity and provide a sustainable management solution for weeds.


Polish startup Microbe Plus works to develop a bio-based activator that can protect plants from pathogens. It utilizes molecular biology techniques such as DNA testing to detect the presence of pathogens early. It also uses DNA testing to identify potential resistance of pathogens to insecticides. This enables farmers to take a proactive approach to crop protection. Additionally, the startup carefully selects the optimal dose of soil fertilizer to support the growth phase of the plant. This ensures better crop quality and plant disease resistance.


5Metis, based in North Carolina, USA, is a combination of the Boragen and AgriMetis platforms. The alliance combines boron-based small molecule discovery and synthetic biology to create new modes of action for crop protection and crop protection health.


In summary, synthetic biology opens a new chapter in agricultural biotechnology. It can break new ground in creating unprecedented biological components and systems that provide sustainable solutions. The impact of synthetic biology in the agricultural market will continue to expand as key technologies mature and design and production costs continue to fall. It promises to be a powerful engine of innovation that will drive a new wave of agricultural transformation.

Bio-pheromone, the new choice for biopesticides

As an emerging class of green pesticides, pheromones are expected to become an ideal alternative to traditional chemical pesticides due to their high efficiency and environmental friendly features. In recent years, pheromone pesticides have been rising rapidly and are expected to lead the new trend in the field of biopesticides.


Pheromone is a class of signal molecules released and perceived by insects, which can affect the behavior and physiology of individuals of the same race. Pheromones are characterized by low volume, high efficiency and target specificity. The use of pheromones to manipulate

the growth and reproduction of pests is a new type of green and environmentally friendly pesticide technology.


Pheromone pesticides have the following application advantages.


First, high efficiency and low toxicity. Pheromones belong to the induced pesticides, by interfering with the normal life of pests to play a role, the toxicity is very low. Compared with chemical pesticides, pheromone pesticide is more than 1000 times lower than that of chemical pesticides. Secondly, there is no residual pollution. Pheromones have small molecular weight and are easily degraded, so they do not leave any residue to pollute the environment. It can also avoid the pollution of agricultural products that may be produced by chemical pesticides. Furthermore, it does not produce drug resistance. Pheromones work in a biological way and do not lead to insect resistance like chemical pesticides. It can also control some pest populations that are already resistant to conventional pesticides. Finally, they have a low impact on non-target organisms. Pheromones are highly specialized, targeting only the target pests, and will not affect non-target organisms that are beneficial to the ecosystem.


Major companies are also accelerating the development of pheromone products.


ISCA provides crop protection solutions that use natural substances to modify insect behavior. The company’s breakthrough technology harnesses the potential of bio-communicators to modify insect activity, such as luring pollinators to specific crops, luring pests to traps and baits, interfering with specific mating behaviors, and repelling pests away from target plants.


Developed 25 years ago under the CheckMate Puffer brand name by the US company Suterra, it has only recently been commercialized for major pests in Latin America. It is a small technical device that releases pheromones at regular intervals depending on the pest of interest. These aerosols also do not leave residues on crops, so they do not cause problems when fruit is exported. The Puffer consists of an aerosol that is inserted into a cabinet with batteries and is highly resistant to extreme temperatures, dust, water and dirt. It is installed at the height of the crop canopy in the middle of winter. Unlike other passive pheromone dispensers, whose  diffusion is exacerbated at higher temperatures, the Puffer is unaffected by heat or cold and releases a certain dose of pheromone only during the programming period, thus avoiding product waste and ensuring that the device has enough pheromone to cover the pest cycle.


Bioglobal has been involved in pheromone research for the past thirty years and has designed, developed and produced pheromone treatments for codling moth, oriental fruit moth and light brown apple moth. These mating disruption products have been registered in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, China, etc. Bioglobal is the company that successfully obtained the first registration of mating disruption dispensers for codling moth and oriental fruit moth control in China, an icebreaker.


Provivi Inc. is a breakthrough science-based company dedicated to developing scalable, safer insect control technologies that improve the quality of life for all people and the world. It is a pioneer in natural pheromone solutions for effective pest control and crop protection.


M2i Life Sciences is a chemical industry player involved in biocontrol for animal health, crop health and human health. Biological control is the term used for all biological protection methods that replicate intraspecific behavioral patterns and natural mechanisms that regulate biological aggressors.


Pheromone pesticides, with their unique advantages of being green, efficient and specialized, are expected to become the new biopesticide of choice. It can replace part of the chemical pesticides, help to solve the problems of residual toxicity, and promote the transformation of pesticide use in the direction of green sustainability. Currently, pheromone pesticides are still in the stage of research and development and small-scale testing, and need to be comprehensively evaluated before entering into largescale commercial applications, and regulators are also cautiously assessing their environmental impact. As research continues, pheromone pesticides are expected to become a new market attraction in the next 5-10 years. At that time, there is a need to establish sound regulatory standards to strike a balance between encouraging innovation and ensuring ecological safety.


In addition to the specific segments of biotechnology mentioned above, there are other biotechnologies being used in agriculture, including RNAi, phenotyping, bioinformatics, biochips and genetically modified seeds.

If you would like to read more about hot topics like biotechnologies. Please contact Longjian Huang at long@agropages.com

This article was initially published in AgroPages' '2023 Market Insight' magazine.


Source: AgroNews


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