AgBiome wins Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation multi-year grant for biological nematicide project.
M2 EQUITYBITES-June 15, 2018-AgBiome wins Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation multi-year grant for biological nematicide project
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Crop protection company AgBiome LLC revealed on Thursday the receipt of a multi-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the "Biological Nematicides for Root and Tuber Crops," nematology project.
The company said the project aims to discover and develop a microbial solution for smallholder farms in West Africa to manage yield-damaging plant-parasitic nematodes. The project will be led by nematologist Christy Wiggins and project team contributors Dr Vadim Beilinson, Dr Lee Simmons and Dr Lynn Dickey, with additional technical contributions in nematology from Tim Ave-Lallemant and Dr Jared Jensen.
Yam, which an important staple in the diet West Africa, provides over 200 calories per day for an estimated 150m people. The root-knot nematode (RKN) infection on yam causes substantial losses during production by destroying edible tissue, ultimately reducing the yield and marketable value, said the company.
According to the company, the biological control of nematodes and other agricultural pests afford no risk of exposure, unlike synthetic chemical nematicides chemistries, hence promises the potential to offer season-long control through colonization of the plant and rhizosphere.
This grant will be used by the company to support the isolation, sequencing and testing of microbes associated with African yam production in an effort to discover effective microbial solutions. Additionally, it has fully sequenced and annotated the genomes for more than 26,000 microbial strains.
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