From the bench to the field: Inocucor product development scientists are out in the fields this summer!

By Ananda Fitzsimmons

When Inocucor scientists develop a new product, the work begins in the laboratory. Our own Dr. Fazli Mabood has been working on a formulation of naturally occurring bacteria to inhibit common potato scab disease.

Streptomyces scabies is a very common pathogen that infects potatoes. Anyone who has ever grown potatoes is all too familiar with it. It is a soil borne pathogen, that, once it is in your soil, never completely goes away. Potato scab does not actually kill the plant and scabby potatoes are alright to eat, but they are ugly and nobody wants to buy them. In the marketplace, potatoes are first grade by the percentage of scab that is on them. Table potatoes need to be scab-free while scabby potatoes are used only for processing. Obviously, scab free potatoes fetch a better price for the grower.

Dr Mabood’s new product formulation has been shown to do a remarkable job at stopping the growth of Streptomyces scabies in the laboratory. This year’s acid test: To determine if it does an equally good job in the real world of a potato grower’s field. Dr. Mabood has just returned from Prince Edward Island where he and several assistants worked hard to treat a section of the potato fields on four different farms.

If all goes well, these proof-of-concept trials will lead to larger field trials, followed by registration of the final product with the proper regulatory auhorities. Inocucor hopes to then launch a much-needed product to help growers produce high-quality potatoes with no harmful impacts on the environment.


Inocucor Technologies Inc., based in Montreal, is an ag biotech company that develops sustainable biological products for agriculture targeting the phyto-microbiome—the seeds, plants, root systems and the soil surrounding them. Inocucor’s first-generation product, Garden Solution®, soon to be re-branded as Synergro, employs live microbes to actively improve the health of the entire phyto-microbiome. Its second product, Synergro Free and future generations of Inocucor products are powerful biological formulations for bio-stimulation, bio-fertility and bio-control targeting mainstream production agriculture.

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