Marrone Bio Innovations announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved a significant label expansion for Regalia, a biofungicide that boosts plants’ natural defenses to fight fungal and bacterial diseases. The label expansion includes new soil applications, instructions for yield improvement in corn and soybeans, along with additional crops and target pathogens.

“This label expansion is an important validation for Regalia, which addresses some of the most challenging aspects of pest management today:  resistance to current fungicides and harvest residues,” said MBI CEO Pam Marrone, Ph.D. “Since Regalia was approved in 2009, MBI has rapidly expanded its use in the U.S. and to Europe, the Middle East and Mexico. We are excited now to offer growers new applications for Regalia and to increase the number of specialty agricultural crops that can benefit from this innovative product.”

Under the expanded label, Regalia is now approved for use on cotton, grass seed, oil seed crops, sugar beets, sugarcane, and tobacco. Improved plant growth recommendations, including yield enhancement, are included for selected crops. Field trial data, for example, show that Regalia effectively controls plant pathogens and improves yields when applied as a foliar application to soybean and corn. Additionally, many new plant pathogens are covered in the new label such as soil-borne diseases including Rhizoctonia, Pythium, Phytophthora, and Fusarium.

The chemigation section was also expanded to include drip irrigation instructions for controlling soil-borne pathogens and improving plant growth and yield. Field trial data released in 2011 and 2012 on tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and strawberries show that Regalia improves root and plant growth when applied as a pre-plant dip, in-furrow spray, soil drench, or through drip irrigation to transplants.

MBI has experienced rapid adoption of Regalia in specialty crop markets where it is used for bacterial disease control in tomatoes, peppers, citrus and walnuts, and mildew control in leafy greens, cucurbits, berries and vines. Regalia contains a unique active ingredient from the extract of Reynoutria sachalinensis, or giant knotweed, which switches on plants’ natural defense mechanisms, causing them to produce and accumulate higher levels of natural proteins and other compounds that inhibit disease development.

Used in tank mixes, program rotations and stand-alone, Regalia is proven to control diseases such as powdery mildew, downy mildew, Botrytis grey mold, early blight, late blight and bacterial leaf spot. A minimal re-entry interval and a zero day pre-harvest interval, provide growers with greater operational flexibility and a residue-free harvest.

In March 2011, MBI signed a major distribution agreement with Syngenta Crop Protection AG for Regalia on specialty crops in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In August 2011, a major distribution agreement with FMC Corporation was signed for Latin America. While primarily used in conventional farming, the product is also recognized by the National Organic Program (NOP) and the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) as fully compliant for use on organic crops.

The complete, updated label instructions are available to growers and crop advisors on the MBI Web site http://marronebio.com/regalia.