Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. (NASDAQ:MBII), the California biotech firm, has won a key regulatory advance as its new patented bacteria strain Bacillus biofungicide Stargus has been formally approved by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation for use by growers in California on a number of crops, including leafy greens and strawberries.
Stargus is in demand as it improves the hardiness of crops, ranging from grapes and brassicas to cucurbits and fruiting vegetables, and controls plant diseases such as white molds.
The bacteria has already been approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency and is available on the market across the US and in Mexico, Canada and Puerto Rico. Marrone Bio has also kicked off the process of registering Stargus for sale in other countries as well.
“Trials conducted in the US and specifically in California, have proven Stargus increases crop yields and quality by controlling a variety of plant diseases, including downy mildew, white molds and Botrytis gray mold,” said Kevin Hammill, chief commercial officer of Marrone Bio Innovation, in a statement. “Stargus used alone outperformed the biological standards and is competitive with the current growers’ crop protection chemical standards.”
Stargus is part of Marrone Bio’s extensive array of 18,000-plus micro-organisms and 350 plant extracts.
Founded in 2006 in Davis, California, Marrone Bio holds more than 400 issued and pending patents and has brought six US Environmental Protection Agency-registered biological product lines and one biostimulant to market. Its suite of biologicals includes a bevy of bacteria strains and plant extracts that fight pests, control plant diseases and reduce stress from sun and water.