Method for encapsulation of microparticles Southeast Region

Award Year 

Trichoderma-based products have been successfully commercialized for the management of soilborne plant diseases in the U.S. and worldwide for more than two decades. However, the density of viable conidia in these biocontrol products is low, and use of these products is limited to soil or amendments for soilless potting mix. Scientists at the Biological Control of Pests Research Unit (BCPRU) developed a technology that uses a method that produces a high density of viable (more) conidia through microencapsulation and spray drying at elevated temperatures. This technology can be used in a variety of product development from seed coatings to sprayable formulations, which are critical issues for the development of a biological control business in plant disease management. A Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) was established in 2007 with Advanced Biological Marketing, Inc. (ABM), a Van Wert, Ohio-based company engaged in the commercialization of Trichoderma-based products. ABM used another Agricultural Research Service (ARS) microencapsulation technology to develop a Trichoderma seed coating for corn and wheat. ABM commercialized these products, which are being sold nationally and internationally by such distributors as Wilbur-Ellis, Loveland/CPS, Winfield Solutions, and Southern States. ABM values this technology as one of the cornerstones of its proprietary intellectual properties. Implementing this technology gave the company significant market advantages by adding more high-quality products to its product pipeline and increasing sales from $4.4 million in 2010 to approximately $7.6 million in 2012. ABM has hired seven new employees since the delivery of this technology. The company projected revenue and earnings to exceed $13.8 and $7.9 million, respectively, for fiscal year 2012. ABM recently signed a new CRADA with BCPRU to develop technology in large-scale solid fermentation to produce aerial conidia of Trichoderma. ABM now has the financial strength to build its own research and development group. (less)