Certis U.S.A. L.L.C., based in Columbia, Md., and Kumiai Chemical Industry Co. LTD of Tokyo, Japan, announced the global launch of a new generation of bacterial biofungicides based on Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain D747 (Ba D747). Kumiai scientists discovered and patented the Ba D747 strain, the active ingredient used in Kumiai’s Ecoshot® product in Japan. In 2010, Kumiai licensed the Ba D747 strain to Certis USA for global development.

The U.S. EPA approved registrations of several Ba D747-based products in December 2011. The first product will be launched in the U.S. in April 2012 under the name of “Double Nickel 55” for control of powdery mildew, Botrytis and bacterial diseases of fruiting and leafy vegetables, grapes, strawberries and tree fruit. Compared to other bacterial-based biofungicides, Double Nickel 55 biofungicide is highly potent which allows growers to use lower and more economical application rates. Its formulation resists foaming and leaves no visible spray residue on the foliage or fruit.

Application for a European Union Annex-I registration was submitted in October 2010. A provisional national registration in Italy was approved this month. The product, named “Amylo-X,” will be launched in Italy by Intrachem Bio Italia SpA for control of Botrytis and other fungal diseases of grapes, strawberries and vegetables, and bacterial diseases such as fire blight in pome fruit and PSA in kiwi fruit. In New Zealand, Etec Crop Solutions is launching a Ba D747 product this season under the name of “Bacstar” for control of Botrytis in grapes, and fungal and bacterial diseases of berries and onions. Registration activities are underway in other countries.

Jow-Lih Su, Certis USA President and CEO, said, “Our collaboration with Kumiai over the past two years has been most productive. We are excited to bring this Kumiai technology to the global market. It reflects Certis USA’s commitment to provide innovative, value-added technologies to growers worldwide who are in need of sustainable crop protection solutions.”

Eisuke Ishihara, President of Kumiai Chemical Industry, said, “Innovative partnerships are essential to the success of the co-development of several Ba D747 products which we have been developing in Asian countries and Brazil with Certis USA. We are excited that the Ba D747 strain which our scientists discovered in Japan will play an important role in the field of global crop protection.”