DPH Bio and KitoZyme to bring first fungal chitosan biocontrol seed treatment to USA

July 1, 2024

DPH Biologicals and KitoZyme are planning to bring the first fungal chitosan seed treatment biocontrol for US growers.

DPH Biologicals announced the licensing agreement with KitoZyme, a Belgium-based manufacturer of pharmaceutical-grade fungal chitosan, to develop the first fungal chitosan seed treatment technology for the United States market. ChitoNox™ FC provides wide-ranging seedling protection, says the company, effective against nematodes and soil-borne diseases.

The plan is to make ChitoNox FC commercially available for the 2025 crop season.

“The pressure to maximize yield per acre is mounting due to extreme weather and rising pathogen pressure, compounded by the demand for more sustainable inputs,” said Alex Cochran, Chief Technology Officer for DPH Biologicals. “We’re pleased to work with KitoZyme to offer U.S. growers a sustainable biocontrol and biostimulant in one solution.”

The company describes ChitoNox FC as sustainably sourced from fungal biomass based on KitoZyme’s EPA-registered biopesticide KitoGreen technology. “This renewable, non-GMO chitosan source, aka Aspergillus niger, outperforms traditional crustacean-produced chitosan products,” claims the company.

“We are very pleased to enter the U.S. market through DPH Bio, a leader in developing and scaling science-based biological technologies. It reinforces the value of our fungal chitosan as a plant-based alternative for commercial growers and is a clear signal that our approach to sustainable agriculture is on the right track” said François Blondel, Chief Executive Officer of KitoZyme.

Three modes of action were given for ChitoNox FC against disease:
• An antimicrobial effect, directly attacking pathogens.
• Stimulation of plants natural defence systems, enhancing their ability to resist disease and abiotic stress.
• Formation of a protective film around seeds and roots, acting as a barrier to infection.

In addition, ChitoNox FC’s strong positive electrical charge absorbs nutrients, enhancing root development and plant growth crucial for crop stress resilience. “Safe for use as a seed treatment with no impact on germination, ChitoNox FC is compatible with inoculants and synthetic seed treatments, and even helps reduce resistance,” says DPH Biologicals.


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