Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI) a leading global provider of natural pest management products for the agricultural and water treatment markets, announced the submission of a patent application encompassing a new Bacillus sp. strain F727, to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

This strain was first discovered from soil collected in California by one of MBI's employees. The chemistry and genetic profiles appear to be unique from other known Bacillus species.

In addition, the anti-fungal compounds produced by this new strain are different than the current commercial Bacillus biofungicide products.

In comparison tests with commonly used chemical fungicides, the Bacillus sp. strain F727 shows a high level of activity against a broad range of fungal and bacterial plant pathogens.

In MBI's greenhouse tests, Bacillus strain F727 outperformed the leading Bacillus biofungicides on the market, particularly on downy mildews, which are difficult to control with both chemicals and biofungicides.

According to Phyllis Himmel, Ph.D., MBI vice president of research and development, Bacillus sp. strain F727 shows consistent fungicidal activity against Botrytis gray mold and downy mildews in plant tests. "We are excited to move this candidate to field trials on a broad range of crops in 2013," she said.

"The strain has also shown activity beyond plant disease control. Additional work is in progress to explore its usefulness as a plant growth promoter in crops such as corn, soybeans, tomatoes and turf."

Hector Absi, MBI's Sr. VP of Commercial Operations, stated, "I am excited to have another MBI fungicide/bactericide to enhance our current commercial product, Regalia. We believe the combination of the two products will provide superior disease control and plant health across a broad range of crops."