Seed World

Marrone Bio Advances Novel Herbicides

Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. is advancing three novel bioherbicides in its research and development pipeline, further strengthening its position as a leading provider of sustainable agricultural solutions. These biologically based herbicides are a key component of the company’s strategic growth plan, and provide entry into the $27 billion weed control market.

“There is an urgent need for new, more sustainable alternatives given the vast number of herbicides with known cases of weed resistance and the lack of new modes of action,” CEO Kevin Helash said. “We believe our research can bring new options to our customers that will enhance performance and profitability, and provide a more environmentally responsible option for both conventional and organic farmers.”

Marrone Bio has three proprietary bioherbicides in its R&D portfolio. The first two, MBI-005 and MBI-011, have prior regulatory approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and now are undergoing further formulation refinement. The third, MBI-014/015, has progressed to advanced stages of development. Current results indicate that MBI-014/015 has herbicidal properties estimated to be 50-to-100 times more active than leading chemical alternatives.

The MBI family of bioherbicides can control the most economically significant and resistant weeds, including annual broadleaves, grasses and sedges in major row crops as well as vegetable and turf markets. The products can be used at various points in the growing season to give farmers maximum flexibility to control weeds before, during and after planting.

From the more than 12,000 microbes screened, the company’s R&D team has discovered approximately 500 herbicidal microbes that can be advanced through genomics, bioinformatics and synthetic biology systems. This broad library of microbes can potentially lead to the discovery of additional novel active ingredients and new modes of action.

“These advancements further solidify our leadership position as the supplier of choice for farmers striving to meet the increasing demand for more responsibly grown food and fiber. Our family of bioherbicides exemplifies how we are aggressively advancing our pipeline to provide a meaningful return on investment to growers and investors alike,” said Helash.