RCS - Plant Health Care - Research cooperation with University of Arkansas

Thu May 17, 2012 2:01am EDT

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RNS Number : 5251D
Plant Health Care PLC
17 May 2012
 



17 May 2012 

 

 

 

Plant Health Care plc announces research cooperation to determine Harpin protein mode of action against nematodes.

 

Plant Health Care is pleased to announce it has entered into a research partnership with one of the leading scientists in the field of Nematology from the University of Arkansas. The partnership has been established to determine the biochemical reactions in Plant Health Care's Harpin protein, that causes its documented effectiveness against a wide variety of nematodes and, in particular, the Soybean Cyst species that has proven to be resistant to most conventional chemicals.  Nematodes cause billions of dollars of damage to crops around the world annually and Harpin has been a proven deterrent to this pest. Harpin proteins are signal molecules that alert plants to the presence of pathogens, particularly bacteria. Their attachment to receptors on the plants' surfaces initiates a cascade of genetic responses that promote plant health, encourage disease resistance, and defend against nematodes.

 

Trials at the University of Arkansas, Cornell University, Auburn University, Mississippi State University, Illinois State University, Michigan State, Texas A&M, and others have shown up to 60% reductions of nematode eggs on plant roots when the seed or the early-developing plant itself has been activated by Harpin protein technology.  Unlike conventional chemical nematicides, Harpins affect parasitic plant nematodes without affecting beneficial soil nematodes, which are the bulk of nematode species found in healthy soil.

 

Dr. Terry Kirkpatrick, Nematologist with the University of Arkansas, was one of the first people to identify this phenomenon.  A team at the University of Arkansas, led by Dr. Kirkpatrick, Burt Blohm, and graduate student, Sandeep Sharma has initiated research to uncover the biochemical reactions that cause this documented effect in plants. 

 

Dr. Kirkpatrick states, "It has been scientifically proven where plants have been challenged by Harpin, there are fewer nematodes.  The reproductive rate of nematodes in the presence of Harpin-treated plants is definitely affected.  This has been demonstrated in the green house and in the field, so what we're doing now is the pure and basic research that will enable us to get a better handle on the plant mechanism that causes the reduction in nematode eggs."

 

Dr. Zhongmin Wei, Chief Scientific Officer, Plant Health Care, says, "I'm excited to work with Dr. Kirkpatrick and his staff to further expand our understanding of this exciting protein platform.  By gaining insight into the specific mode of action that causes Harpin-treated plants to be less attractive to nematodes, we can assemble specific Harpin combinations that deliver more powerful effects on targeted nematode species.

 

ENDS -

 

 

About Plant Health Care plc: Plant Health Care plc ("PHC") is a leading provider of naturally-derived products for plants and soil. Established in 1995 in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) in the United States, PHC currently has approximately 40 employees and has operations in the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. The Company's ordinary shares have been quoted on the Alternative Investment Market ("AIM") of the London Stock Exchange since July 2004 and listed on the Official List of the Channel Islands Stock Exchange ("CISX") since February 2010 (ticker symbol/ mnemonic: PHC).

 

PHC's products are aimed at agriculture industries and are environmentally beneficial. Through the commercialisation of these products, PHC is capitalising on current long-term trends toward natural systems and biological products for plant care and soil and water management. Further information is available at: www.planthealthcare.com.

 

 For further information, please contact:

 

 

Plant Health Care plc


John Brady, Chief Executive Officer

Tel: +1-603-525-3702 

jabrady@planthealthcare.com 


Stephen Weaver, Finance Director

Tel: +1-412-826-5488 x151

sweaver@planthealthcare.com




Nomura Code Securities

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7776 1200

Claire Terlouw / Chris Golden


www.nomuracode.com




Powerscourt

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7250 1446

Paul Durman / Nick Dibden


paul.durman@powerscourt-group.com


nick.dibden@powerscourt-group.com



Crop

Source

Harpin Use

Pest

Trial

Results

Cantaloupe

Auburn Univ

Foliar

RKN

Field

73% and 46% reduction in galling at 6-weeks after transplanting and harvest, respectively.

Citrus

Texas A&M Univ.

Foliar

CN

GH

+27% plant height and stem diameter.

Cotton

Univ. Florida

Foliar

RN

GH

42% reduction in eggs/root system; +26% biomass.

Cotton

Univ. Arkansas

Seed Trt

RKN

GH

54% reduction in eggs per root system and +28% nodes.

Cotton

Univ. Arkansas

Topical & Transgenic

RKN

GH

55% reduction in eggs/root wt, +14% and +18% nodes and root weight. Across 3 lines, 54% reduction in eggs/root wt.

Cotton

Texas A&M Univ.

Seed Trt

RKN

Field

53% reduction in eggs/500 cc and +11% seed cotton.

Potato

Michigan St.Univ.

Foliar

RLN

Field

62% reduction per gram root weight.

Potato

Cornell University

Foliar

NRKN

Field

57% reduction per gram root weight.

Potato

Cornell University

Seed Trt

NRKN

Field

68% reduction in NRKN per 100 cc.

Soybeans

S. Illinois Univ/SIU

Seed Trt

SCN

GH

60% to 63% reduction in eggs/ root wt.

Soybeans

Auburn, Univ. AR, and SIU

Foliar

RKN

GH

47% reduction in eggs/root weight and +8% to +20% leaf, shoot, and root weight.

Soybeans

Purdue Univ.

Seed Trt

SCN

Field

40% reduction in juveniles and +5 bu/A yield.

Tomato

Auburn Univ.

Foliar

RKN

Field

64% and 55% reduction in galling at 6-weeks after transplanting and harvest, respectively. 

CN = Citrus Nematode, NRKN = Northern Root Knot Nematode, SCN = Soybean Cyst Nematode, RLN = Root Lesion

Nematodes, RN = Reniform Nematode, and RKN = Root-Knot nematode. GH = Greenhouse

 


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