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Proteins and hydrolyzed protein compounds to safeguard plants

Researchers from the Italian Agricultural Institute of San Michele dell’Adige and from the Israeli Volcani Centre developed a new protein based produced useful against many plant diseases

The product developed in the context of the Sefecrop project by Ilaria Pertot and Yigal Elad has been recently patented by Trentino Sviluppo and is now available for the market. The product is a safe compound, totally environment friendly, which can be employed against many plant diseases and, in particular, against Powdery mildew, the cause of the typical white powder-like spots on leaves and stems. The new product is based on meat and pod proteins and on hydrolyzed proteins and it is very effective in controlling such diseases.

The product was successfully tested on the most important cultures, both from the commercial and the botanical point of view, such as strawberries, vine, cucumbers and zucchini.
The plants are treated each year with high levels of drugs, in particular fungicides, to grant a reasonable production. The patented compound is as effective as one of the old widespread drugs, such as sulfur, but is totally environment friendly because proteins do not leave any residuals since are degradated by microorganisms. Hence, it is effective against diseases without any toxic effect. Moreover, by considering its nitrogen content, it can be also employed as a leaf fertilizer and as an adjuvant for the natural plant resistance in biological and amateur agriculture.
The administrative management of the patent, held by the Patent found, is given to the Trentino Sviluppo which already provided for the procedures for the patent request and will commercialize it soon. At this purpose an advertisement for the industrial employment of the product with a special regime for the Trentino region farms. The advertisement will come with a technical meeting for the product characteristics presentation.
The patent found, created by the Trento province for the commercial valorization of the Trentine research and for the sponsoring of local firms, manages 8 patents, 6 unpatented technologies and 6 brands which are related to 4 research project (SafeCrop and Agribio held by the Mach foundation, Sofie by CNR-IVALSA and Create-net by the Create-net association), for a net value of 5.5 million Euros.

by R. T.
02 november 2009, Technical Area > Science News