Dec 16, 2021
New bioherbicide from Marrone Bio headed to growers by 2024

Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. recently announced it acquired exclusive rights to high-performing strains of the bacteria Streptomyces acidiscabies, allowing for the accelerated commercialization of a new, second-generation bioherbicide, that it’s calling MBI-006.

The first generation MBI-006 is expected to launch in 2024/2025 for organic and specialty crops, as well as turf, ornamentals and the home and garden market, according to a news release from the company. The second generation of MBI-006 will be targeted at row crops, currently treated by synthetic chemistry, and is anticipated to be commercially available in 2027/2028.

The addition of the bacterial strains, developed by and licensed from Novozymes, a company specializing in industrial enzymes and microorganisms, will improve MBI-006’s use rate, lower the cost of production, and enhance performance, according to the news release. This development creates a more competitive bioherbicide for Marrone Bio’s entry into the $27 billion herbicide market where a growing number of herbicide-resistant weeds are costing U.S. and Canadian corn and soybean growers billions of dollars a year.

“Customer response to our bioherbicide pipeline has been extremely positive. Herbicide resistance is a major concern among farmers as there are over 250 weeds showing some herbicide resistance, costing growers billions of dollars in crop damage annually,” Marrone Bio CEO Kevin Helash said in the news release. “Gaining access to these improved strains will accelerate our ability to commercialize the active ingredient in MBI-006 and provide growers with a much-needed sustainable tool for effective weed management.”

The company said MBI-006 provides an improvement in efficacy at lower rates over MBI-005, the former herbicidal Streptomyces acidiscabies strain developed and registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency.

MBI-006 has an uncommon mode of action that inhibits the formation and repair of plant cell walls, according to the news release. As a result, the development of herbicide resistance is rare. The bioherbicide has shown pre- and post-emergent efficacy on a wide spectrum of annual broadleaves, grasses, and sedges and mixes well with most chemical crop protection products and fertilizers.

Amit Vasavada, Ph.D., chief technical officer and senior vice president of research and development for Marrone Bio Innovations said in the release that in addition to MBI-006, the company has two other proprietary bioherbicides in development, MBI-011 and MBI-014/015.

“MBI-006 is just the beginning for what we believe will likely be a growing portfolio of highly efficacious bioherbicides,” Vasavada said in the news release.


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