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US exemption request for SAR bacterium

The US EPA has received an emergency exemption request from the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) to use the bacterium, Bacillus mycoides isolate J, to control potato virus Y on up to 2,675 acres (1,083 ha) of seed potatoes. The bacterium induces systemic acquired resistance to the aphid-transmitted disease, the MDA points out. PVY infection levels above 0.5% make seed potatoes ineligible for certification in Montana. Production losses would amount to 30-40% without the exemption, the MDA maintains. Last year, Mitsui & Co’s US biopesticide subsidiary, Certis USA, reached a global licensing deal with Montana State University to commercialise a B mycoides-based biopesticide ( Agrow No 630, p 4).

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