The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this week, has apparently registered BASF’s new biofungicide seed treatment formulations released under the brand name Velondis. Reportedly, the product will help to protect seedlings and plants against soil borne diseases, which as per experts, may be indicative of a major leap in biopesticides market.
BASF, one of the key biopesticides industry players, has reportedly claimed that Velondis will produce a biofilm with an antimicrobial constituent that will help protect the plant root system by promoting the systemic resistance within the plant which will in turn help the plant in suppressing disease organisms that are attached to the root. BASF officials added that there are supplementary components in Velondis biofungicides that help in developing robust root systems in plants resulting in better plant yield and enhanced growth.
BASF’s technical marketing manager Justin Clark has hailed the Velondis biofungicide formulations as a major stride forward for BASF and has reportedly said that this would be a key step in the use of natural biologicals in fortifying plants against diseases. He also added that BASF plans to use Velondis in various other products and application to combat soil borne diseases and enhance crop yield, which would ultimately help revolutionize biopesticides industry trends.
The patent for Velondis biofungicide is held by Professor Janine Sherrier and associate professor Harsh Bais both of whom are researchers at the plant and soil sciences department at the University of Delaware (UD). They were assisted by coinventor Venkatachalam Lakshmanan, apparently. Sources say that scientists at the UD College of Agriculture and Natural Resources along with scientists of the Delaware Biotechnology Institute (DBI) with support and funding from BASF, the National Science Foundation, USDA HATCH funds and DBI conducted the studies and developed the beneficial bacterium, which is a unique stain of the Bacillus subtilis that commonly lives on root surfaces and rhizosphere or surrounding soil.
Experts cite that the increasing use of Velondis biofungicides will benefit the biopesticides market and in the spring of 2018, soybeans will witness the initial usage of Velondis.