Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI), a leading global provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products, announced it has submitted MBI-302, a biological nematicide, for registration with the United States EPA. The product utilizes a new patent-pending species of bacteria, Flavobacterium sp. strain H492, discovered in MBI's discovery screen for suppression of nematodes in agricultural and horticultural crops. It is active against a broad range of plant parasitic nematode species. Field trials conducted in 2013 show that MBI-302, when applied as a seed treatment, reduced soybean cyst nematode numbers and enhanced soybean yields. MBI is developing the product as a seed treatment and as a liquid to be applied via broadcast, in-furrow, shank, banded or chemigation methods.
"MBI's strategy is to develop multiple products across all categories of growers' needs. MBI-302 nematicide joins MBI's fungicides, insecticides and herbicides to do just that," said CEO Pam Marrone.
The Society of Nematologists projects global crop losses due to plant parasitic nematodes at $100 billion each year. In the US alone, nematode damage to major crops, such as soybean, cotton, sugar beets, tomatoes, and many other fruits and vegetables is estimated to reduce crop yields by more than $5 billion annually. AVRDC (The World Vegetable Center) estimates losses in vegetables range from 17–38 percent. With many chemical pesticides restricted or eliminated due to their toxicity to mammals and other organisms, biological nematicides can provide an effective, more sustainable solution.