Germains expands PHC harpin tests
The UK seed treatment company, Germains Seed Technology (King’s Lynn, Norfolk), is to carry out large-scale US field trials with US-based, UK-listed bioproducts company Plant Health Care’s (PHC – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) Harpinαβ as a sugar beet seed treatment this year. The companies agreed a development deal for the technology in 2010 ( Agrow No 601, p 2). The decision to move to the next stage of testing triggers a milestone payment to PHC. “This is a very positive development in our relationship with Germains and gives us further confidence in the potential of our Harpinαβ protein products,” says PHC chief executive officer John Brady. Harpin proteins induce disease resistance and reduce nematode numbers around treated plants. PHC is developing the technology as a seed and foliar treatment with several partners ( Agrow No 653, pp 11-12).