Mustgrow Reports Successful Banana Field Test For TR4


Mustgrow Biologics Corp.'s initial field trial program in Colombia was a success. Field testing confirmed the efficacy of Mustgrow's mustard plant-derived biopesticide in treating the disease fusarium wilt TR4 -- a unique feat Mustgrow believes no other agri-science team has achieved. Fusarium wilt TR4 (often referred to as the Panama disease) is a devastating pathogen ravaging the $25-billion global banana industry.

Positive dose response in field
- After application of Mustgrow's mustard-based biopesticide TerraMG, field data confirmed reduced incidence and severity of fusarium wilt TR4 symptoms in banana plants after 21 days.
- Importantly, even at higher application rates there was no damage or phytotoxic effects to the banana plants, allowing Mustgrow to explore treating the banana plants directly, in addition to soil applications.
- Data confirmed a reduced concentration in colony-forming units (CFU) per gram of soil 21 days after application. There is a strong correlation between the level of CFU in soil and disease severity.

CFU is a microbiology unit used to estimate the number of viable (the ability to multiply) bacteria or fungal cells in a sample.

Sumitomo Corp. will now drive field development work, including dose rates, application frequency, application methods and the regulatory work necessary for commercialization. On Aug. 4, 2021, Mustgrow announced an exclusive evaluation and option agreement with Sumitomo to evaluate Mustgrow's technology for the purpose of figuring out efficacy and commercial potential. Sumitomo has exclusive choice rights to Mustgrow's technology for preplant soil fumigation, bioherbicide, and postharvest and food preservation for potatoes and bananas in North, Central and South America.

Mustgrow's cumulative laboratory and field work has reaffirmed its approach to accelerate further development work with Sumitomo while simultaneously pursuing a potential fast-track product approval in Colombia. Additionally, Mustgrow believes its work in Colombia will serve as a beachhead to expand into other leading banana-producing countries.

Mustgrow chief operating officer Colin Bletsky commented: "We now have field data showing efficacy with a clear path forward with Sumitomo Corp. We are proud to be a leading agri-science team to not only show treatment of fusarium wilt TR4 in lab, but to do so in infected fields in Colombia. We are very excited to see the continued development and potential expansion to other major banana growing regions."

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