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Using Fungi to Biologically Control Plant Mites and Powdery Mildew

Sztejnberg Abraham, HUJI, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, Plant Pathology and Microbiology
Gerson Uri, HUJI, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, Entomology

 

Categories

Agriculture, Pest Control / Herbicides, Biological Pest Control, Cleantech

Development Stage

Successful field demonstrations on cucumber, grapes and citrus

 

Highlights

Naturally occurring, unmodified fungi could be acting as biological pesticides
  • No associated health or environmental problems
  • Trials demonstrate control of citrus mites and grape powdery mildew, resulting in better quality and yields
  • Environment-friendly alternative to chemical pesticides

Our Innovation

Several new fungus species have been collected in the wild and are being cultured and tested as biological pesticides against various plant mites (Acari) and fungi pathogenic to plants.

 

Scanning electron micrographs of Meirageulakonigiiand Meiraargovae.

(a) Sporulationof Meirageulakonigiion a mite.

(b) Detail of acropetallyformed chain of blastoconidiaof Meirageulakonigiion a mite.

(c) Sporulationof Meiraargovae on a mite.

(d) Detail of acropetallyformed chain of blastoconidiaof Meiraargovaeon a mite.

 

Key Features

  • Efficacy demonstrated against a number of plant mites and pathogens
  • Field trial on grapes and citrus showed efficacy comparable with chemical pesticides

Development Milestones

  • Toxicological tests performed
  • Fermentation trials undertaken
  • Demonstration of efficacy against additional pest mites and plant pathogens
  • Study of mode of action
  • Study of sensitivity to commonly-used pesticides
  • Further upscaling of fungal cultures (by fermentation) for mass production

The Opportunity

Rust and other plant mites damage citrus, pears, and other commercial crops such as tomatoes.

Powdery mildews affect vegetable crops (such as cucumbers), fruit trees, grapes and other crops, including ornamental plants and flowers.

 

Patent Status

Granted US 7,731,984; Germany (Europe) 60328358.6-08; Israel 163153

Contact for more information:

Amichai Baron
VP, Head of Business Development, Agritech & Envir
+972-8-9489263