Protea Biosciences Group, Inc. announced that Purdue University has acquired Protea's LAESI DP-1000 Instrument System for direct molecular analysis. The system will be used in Purdue's College of Agriculture, the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, for the molecular imaging of herbicide active ingredients and other related compounds to optimize herbicide applications and improve weed management.

Protea's LAESI system is a next generation molecular imaging platform that directly analyzes biological samples without the need to apply chemicals or introduce tags or tracers and enables 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional imaging, displaying the distribution of molecules in the samples.

"The continued investigation of how herbicides function within the plant's morphological architecture and physiological pathways is paramount for improving the efficiency of herbicide activity and elucidating possible mechanisms that are the basis for the herbicide-resistant weeds impacting crop production, and Protea's DP-1000 system will enable us to map and monitor specific compounds both on and within the plants of interest," stated Bryan Young, PhD., Associate Professor of Weed Science in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at Purdue University. He continued, "Understanding the molecular interactions between plants and herbicides or combinations thereof is essential to developing strategies to combat invasive and emerging herbicide-resistant weed biotypes."

"Collaborating with Purdue and applying our LAESI technology to the field of herbicide research is an important commercial sector for us," stated Steve Turner, Protea's CEO. "The discovery of novel herbicides can have a positive effect on crop production and ultimately the ability to more economically deliver food and livestock globally. In particular LAESI's unique ability to provide three dimensional molecular analytics of plant tissues can be incredibly useful for mapping herbicides and other molecules within the leaf, to actually see the molecular changes that are occurring within plants."