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Yissum unveils fungal biopesticide

Israeli technology transfer company Yissum Research Development (Jerusalem) has developed a biopesticide based on the yeast, Pseudozyma spp. The epiphytic yeast, isolated from strawberry leaves, secretes substances that inhibit several fungal and bacterial pathogens. Spores of the yeast “significantly abolished” growth of different fungi causing powdery mildews, grey mould ( Botrytis cinerea), crown rust ( Puccinia coronata), black spot disease ( Alternaria spp) in brassicas and late wilt ( Harpophora maydis) in maize. The yeast also inhibited bacterial diseases such as bacterial canker ( Clavibacter michiganensis) of tomato. The complex mode of action reduces pathogens' ability to develop resistance, Yissum says.

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